Liberal ministers warn that the risk of catching for impaired driving will increase the "disadvantageous" of this holiday season – even as they consent to their new driving impairment law likely to face the challenge of the court.
Bill Blair, Justice Minister Jenny Wilson-Raybould and Border, Crime Reduction and Organized Crime Day, held a news conference on Tuesday to remind Canians that they will be subject to mandatory alcohol screening if the police & # 39; i stopped.
"That's really a game changer," said Blair. "And what we want every Canadian driver to understand is … whether you should make the criminal choice to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the chances of getting caught are about to increase anonymously because the police have new authorities and new equipment to make a decision whether or not that person has alcohol in their system. "
Bill C-46 passed in June; its changes to alcohol-related driving law are being implemented in December 18. Under the law, the police can ask drivers to carry out roadside alcohol screening tests if they have broken down traffic laws – through accelerate or blow through a stop sign, an example – or if they were stopped during a random roadside sobriety testing program. Drivers that fall over the legal limit give the police the likely grounds to ask for subsequent tests that could produce results that result in criminal charges.
Before C-46, the police could not ask for a breath test in situations where they had "reasonable grounds" to suspect impairment – alcohol odor on the driver's breath or slurry speech, for example.
Blair, in the past, said that too many people had been able to "bluff" their way through roadside checks and hide the smell of the gap by officers.
Wilson-Raybould estimates that up to 50 per cent of drivers with impairments are uncovered during roadside inspections.
The law to face the court's challenge
The law has been abducted by criminal and other criminal defense lawyers contrary to constitutional defenses against arbitrary detention and unreasonable searches. Wilson-Raybould said she was "100 percent confident" that the new law does not break the Rights and Freedom Charter because of her fundamental objective is to save lives.
However, it expects the legislation to be tested in court.
"I suspect that the potential to challenge each legislation, I have every expectation that this one will be," he said.
Wilson-Raybould said that more than 40 countries around the world have adopted similar laws.
"While you celebrate over the holidays, be responsible and set an example," he said. "If you get behind the wheel of your car, and if you're being disrupted, you'll get it."
The first part of Ottawa's impairment driving reforms, which includes drug impairment, came into force on June 21.
MP Conservative Michael Cooper said C-46 seems to target Canadians who want to enjoy a little beer with their chicken beans. He said he believed that the legislation would face constitutional challenges and called him a "serious breach" of civil liberty.
"The bottom line is rejected and that will go to court time, and that's a concern about how our courts are already back with cases being thrown down because delayed, "he said.
Senge Serge Joyal said he had "a great concern" about the law – that the forces did not have enough time to train and test the new equipment.
"That would open court challenges to anyone who would be arrested with the conclusion that the test would not be reliable," he said.
& Failure & # 39;
Gregg Thomson of Lives Against Bad Driving (MADD Canada) said he expects the law to be preventative and reduce driving by under 20 percent. That could prevent 200 deaths and 12,000 serious injuries per year, he said.
"This is the most significant step I've seen in this country, and it's a pity. It's a huge, huge massive."
The son of Thomson, Stan, 18, was killed in an accident outside Perth, Ontario in June 1999, the passenger in a truck that had been driven by a girl with impairment. Four young people died in the crash.