Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada, which is why the government has taken steps to keep Canadians safe. On December 18, new alcohol impaired driving laws came into force across Canada.
Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada, which is why the government has taken steps to keep Canadians safe. On December 18, new alcohol impaired driving laws came into force across Canada. In addition to saving lives, these reforms will lead to more efficient trials, and will reduce the burden on our courts, all the while respecting our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Some of the key changes to our impaired driving laws include: mandatory roadside
alcohol screening, new and higher minimum fines, higher maximum penalties, changes to some legal defences that used to reward risky behaviour, and clarifying what the Crown must disclose to the defence.
With respect to mandatory alcohol screening, police are now able to demand a breath sample from any driver who has been lawfully stopped without first requiring a reasonable suspicion that the person has been drinking.
A lawful stop could be made because a driver ran a stop sign, for example.
Mandatory alcohol screening is a proven traffic safety measure. It has been implemented in more than 40 countries and has saved lives. In Ireland, the introduction of mandatory alcohol screening is credited with reducing the number of people killed by 23% in the first year and 40% over the first four years following its enactment in 2006. This change alone will have a profound impact on the safety of our roads and the lives of Canadians.
Police now have more tools to enforce these new laws. More impaired drivers are going to be caught, which means fewer people will be hurt or killed in impaired driving accidents. If you are planning on drinking or using cannabis, make sure you have a plan to get home safely, that does not include getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
William Amos, Pontiac MP