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Motorists caught drinking and driving or speeding excessively are going to be facing new, harsher penalties in B.C.

Changes to the Motor Vehicle Act came into effect Monday in the province. Drivers caught with a blood alcohol content between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent face a three-day ban and a $200 fine for their first offence.

If motorists are caught a second time in a five-year period, the fine is increased to $300 and drivers can face a seven-day driving suspension.

However, the harshest penalties are given to drivers who blow over the 0.08 per cent limit or who refuse to take a breathalyzer test.

Those drivers face a 90 day driving suspension, a $500 fine and possible criminal charges. In addition, their cars will be impounded for 30 days.

Further changes to the MVA state that drivers caught going 40 km/h or more over the posted speed limit face having their vehicles impounded for seven days. As well, they can face any current fines and penalty points outlined in the Act.

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