B.C.’s tough impaired driving laws have saved 104 lives since they were introduced two years ago, the Ministry of Justice announced Wednesday.

The ministry said drinking and driving has dropped significantly since the new roadside prohibition program was introduced. The number of alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths has decreased to an average of 62 a year, down 46 per cent.

The province also released new data showing a 44 per cent drop in drivers who had a blood alcohol level of 0.05 or higher. There were 60 per cent fewer drivers with a 0.08 blood alcohol level, according to the survey that assessed drivers in Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Saanich and Vancouver.

The survey showed more than 82 per cent of drivers were aware of the new sanctions, 90 per cent thought the laws would make roads safer and 30 per cent of people said the legislation made them change their behaviour.

"It's encouraging to note that, as you drive home late at night, the car coming toward you is far less likely to be piloted by an impaired driver than at any time in recent years. More people are getting the message that it's up to each of us to further road safety, by driving sober and following the rules of the road, d it's paying off by saving lives," Minster of Justice Shirley Bond said in a release.

In B.C., drunk drivers who are caught face immediate vehicle impoundment, licence prohibition and fines up to $4,000.

The tough new laws were set in honour of Alexa Middelaer, the four-year-old who was killed by drunk-driver Carol Berner in 2008.