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Updated: 7th January 2019 04:26

Alberta delays tough drunk-driving laws

Premier Alison Redford is prepared to let bar owners get breath-testers to get ready for tough new drinking and driving laws.

Premier gives bars time to obtain breathalyzers for patrons

The province will consult with the hospitality industry first 2:53

Premier Alison Redford is prepared to let bar owners get breath-testers to get ready for tough, new drinking and driving laws.

Under the new legislation, police would be able to suspend licences and seize vehicles of drivers who blow as low as .05.

The provisions are on hold as the government consults with the hospitality industry.

Bar owners want breath testers so patrons can check their alcohol levels before getting behind the wheel, said Redford.

"That seems to be something that they feel would be helpful and if they want some time to do that, then I'm certainly prepared to give them that," she said.

"That's the only nature of consultation that will take place," said Redford. "Once that is done, we will proclaim the legislation and the legislation will be in effect."

But people in the hospitality industry have mixed feelings about the use of breathalyzers in a bar, like who would administer the test, and who would be liable if a customer drives while impaired. 

"After a couple of drinks. maybe you do it incorrectly and there's the possibility that the test is inaccurate at that point," said Jon Sand, the general manager of the Sherlock Holmes Pub in downtown Edmonton.

"So that was a big concern ... giving someone a false sense of security that yeah, you're ok, when in fact you've had too much to drink."

Redford would not say if the new restrictions will be in place before the spring election.

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