Government proposes random breathalyzer tests

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Government proposes random breathalyzer tests

by: admin on
Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:00 pm

The federal government is considering tough new legislation that would allow police to perform random breathalyzer tests on drivers, whether they suspect the person has been drinking or not.

http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/Home/Conte ... =abc&date=

This would be a horrible law.


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by: hwybear on
Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:28 pm

If the law has an effect such as it has in Australia or Ireland......I'm all for it.
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Feds consider letting police conduct random DUI tests
Janice Tibbetts, Canwest News Service
Published: Sunday, October 04, 2009

OTTAWA - The federal Justice Department is considering a new law to randomly force drivers to take roadside breath tests, regardless of whether police suspect they have been drinking, Canwest News Service has learned.

Random breath testing, if adopted, would replace Canada's 40-year-old legislation on impaired driving, which dictates that police can only administer breathalyzer tests if they have a reasonable suspicion of drunk driving.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson publicly raised the prospect of random testing recently at the annual gathering of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"He has his justice officials putting together the legal parameters," said MADD chief executive officer Andrew Murie.

Nicholson, when asked by Canwest News Service whether he is considering a new law on random testing, said: "We are looking at all options in that regard."

But he would not elaborate, saying that he currently has a packed slate of anti-crime legislation that is winding its way through Parliament.

"I try not to ever announce anything or get ahead of myself," he said.

The House of Commons justice committee recommended in June that Canada follow in the footsteps of several other countries that have adopted random breath testing. Nicholson must publicly respond to the all-party report by Oct. 19.

Justice Department officials have been seriously considering the pros and cons of revamping the Criminal Code.

The debate centres around whether random testing, while it has proven internationally to be the most effective deterrent that exists to curtail drunk driving, would be a justifiable violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure.

MADD says that action is needed because progress in nabbing drunk drivers has stalled in the past decade, largely because the remaining culprits are a hardcore group that was never persuaded to drive sober.

Also, research shows that even when impaired drivers are stopped at sobriety checkpoints, most go undetected so they are never tested, MADD says.

Police are even more likely to miss experienced drinkers, because they exhibit fewer signs of intoxication.

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation reports that in 2006, 907 Canadians were killed in traffic accidents involving a driver who had earlier been drinking.

The justice committee, in its recent report, concluded the "current methods of enforcing the law lead police officers to apprehend only a small percentage of impaired drivers, even at roadside traffic stops."

The report noted an Australian study showed a 36% decrease in the number of people killed in drunk-driving accidents after several states adopted random testing. An Irish study reported a 23 per cent drop in traffic deaths after Ireland passed a similar law in 2006.

The committee report says that random testing could be legally challenged as an unreasonable search and seizure, but that the courts could uphold the law under a charter section that preserves otherwise unconstitutional legislation if it is shown to be a "reasonable and demonstrably justified" infringement.

The report points out that the Supreme Court of Canada has already said that "there is no question that reducing the carnage caused by impaired driving continues to be a compelling and worthwhile government objective."

MADD, in a background paper, said that most European countries and Australian states, as well as New Zealand, have adopted such laws, beginning with the Scandinavian countries more than 30 years ago.

"While random breath testing will be challenged under the charter, this should not deter Parliament from introducing a measure that has dramatically reduced alcohol-related crash deaths around the world and can do the same in Canada," says the paper.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: admin on
Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:50 pm

This is just more random checking, which will go against our Canadian Charter of Rights.
David Eby, the executive cirector of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, expressed worry about automatic testing from police.

"Canadians generally have a feeling that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a good thing, that being free from arbitrary search and detention at the whim of a police officer is a good thing," he said.
If this law goes through, which will most definitely be challenged in court, will lead to other types of random checking for no reason on the general public.

Why not then start randomly checking for drugs, guns, and prostitutes etc. :roll: :lol:

Your basic civil liberties here will be taken away. Keeping in mind this IS Canada!


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by: hwybear on
Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:08 pm

admin wrote:This is just more random checking, which will go against our Canadian Charter of Rights.
David Eby, the executive cirector of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, expressed worry about automatic testing from police.

"Canadians generally have a feeling that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a good thing, that being free from arbitrary search and detention at the whim of a police officer is a good thing," he said.
Hence, why Canada is has become a bigger drug growing nation than Mexico.

Police can stop and search my car anytime they want, nothing illegal in it. If it would get one less gun off the street preventing a murder, getting dope off the street to prevent one more person from becoming hooked.....I'm all for it....5 min of my time every now and then to prevent a death or burden on our health care via drug rehab is well worth it.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: viper1 on
Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:28 pm

hwybear wrote:
admin wrote:This is just more random checking, which will go against our Canadian Charter of Rights.
David Eby, the executive cirector of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, expressed worry about automatic testing from police.

"Canadians generally have a feeling that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a good thing, that being free from arbitrary search and detention at the whim of a police officer is a good thing," he said.
Hence, why Canada is has become a bigger drug growing nation than Mexico.

Police can stop and search my car anytime they want, nothing illegal in it. If it would get one less gun off the street preventing a murder, getting dope off the street to prevent one more person from becoming hooked.....I'm all for it....5 min of my time every now and then to prevent a death or burden on our health care via drug rehab is well worth it.
some guy in Brampton just got off his charge.(millions in drugs)
Illegal search.

They can search but the ---charge goes away.

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by: Bookm on
Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:29 pm

Charter of rights argument aside, I'd be just plain humiliated sitting there on the side of the road blowing in to some box while co-workers, clients, wives of friends, mother-in-laws, etc. drive on by looking at me.

I no longer question why some folks despise the police. This is just another attempt to neuter the general public and create some meek race of cookie-cutter drones. And don't give me that *EDIT* about an amazing crime reduction. Heck, I have a great idea to eliminate rape, 100%!! But I doubt any male in the country is going to like my idea!

I guarantee, I will not be pleasant on the side of the road. I will recite every expletive known to man (might even learn another language just to use NEW curse words).

Get out of my face! I have better things to do than empower a bunch of robots playing with their techno-toys!

Oh, I should mention, I'm against this initiative ;)


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by: Greatest Canadian on
Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:41 pm

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1987 that cops can stop you for any reason and check documents. However Bear is incorrect when he states there is nothing illegal in them searching your car for any reason.

The criminal code is federal legislation.

The impaired driving laws fall under the criminal code.

The Canadian Bill of Rights apply to federal laws only, i.e., the criminal code.

The cops could not arbitrarily stop you and demade a breath test without including the Bill of Rights Notwithstanding clause into the criminal code.

They have not done so thus far, which is why the RIDE program remains illegal in Canada.

All RIDE stops are unlawful and violate s. 2(a) of the Canadian Bill of Rights.

The supreme court of Canada has approved RIDE stops under the charter but s. 26 of the charter articulates that the charter SHALL not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights and freedoms that exist in Canada, and under s. 2(a) of the Canadian Bill of rights, you have the freedom from being arbitrarily stopped with respect to any federal law, i.e, the criminal code and its enshrined drunk driving laws.


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by: Frozenover on
Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:25 pm

This proposal fails the Benjamin Franklin test:

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both"


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by: Squishy on
Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:44 pm

The Bill of Rights is not a constitutional document - does that make a difference?

I don't think Bear was saying that an arbitrary vehicle search was perfectly legal - just that should an arbitrary search be conducted, he would have no problem with it as there is nothing illegal in his car.

I think a completely random breath test would be going too far, though I wouldn't mind incorporating it into RIDE checks. Stop car, blow here, no sign of drug impairment, on your way sir. Might even be faster than the current Hi, where are you going - where are you coming from - any drinks - Magcharger to the eyeballs - have a good sniff - on your way.
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by: admin on
Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:33 pm

http://www.canada.com/sacrifice+rights+ ... story.html
There is no doubt that drinking and driving remains a problem that needs to be addressed and it is often the case that harsher laws fail to take account of more effective solutions.

In this case, we need to start by acknowledging the fact that alcohol is the most abused drug in Canada. Perhaps we need to change perspective on alcohol, not our laws.

This is about creating a culture of personal responsibility and harsher laws only ignore that reality.
I think he's on to something.


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by: Greatest Canadian on
Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:35 pm

No, it does not matter.

The Canadian Bill of Rights is a federal statutue. The charter was created because the Bill of Rights only apply to federal law. The charter applies to federal, provincial and municipal governments. The charter is almost a carbon copy of the Bill of Rights but covers more scope in its provisions.

The RIDE program and the new proposed law is completely useless. It's not illegal to drink and drive. It's only illegal under s. 253(a) if your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by drug or drink, and under s. 253(b), if you blow over .08.

Even if the RIDE program was legal, (and its not) and even if you admit to a cop that you had some drinks in a RIDE check, it is not reasonable grounds for the cop to give you a breath test.

They do this, but its not legal. The cop has no clue who you are, where you came from and you were not stopped for a driving issue. The cop has no grounds to demand a test, reasonable or otherwise.

If enacted, the new propsed law will be challenged under the charter and bill of rights.

You would think there would be a system in place where government would have the supreme court review and approve laws prior to enacting them. This would save taxpayers millions of dollars, since so many laws are challenged. If we plug the holes before laws are enacted, they could not be winnable on appeal, saving us money.

Under the RIDE program in Ontario last year nearly 1 million vehicles were stopped and less than 1900 people were charged for impaired, so clearly the problem isn't as bad as they make it out to be.

More people probably died from the regular flu, then from drunk drivers.


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by: racer on
Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:03 pm

You would think there would be a system in place where government would have the supreme court review and approve laws prior to enacting them. This would save taxpayers millions of dollars, since so many laws are challenged. If we plug the holes before laws are enacted, they could not be winnable on appeal, saving us money.
The problem is that the lawmakers (ie the MPs, MPPs and such) are very rarely versed in law at all. Hell, we have a goddamn chiropractor as a Minister of Science! He doesn't even have a B.Sc. or anything similar to know anything about either the law or the science. And yet he is an MP and a Minister of Science.
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by: hwybear on
Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:59 pm

Greatest Canadian wrote:The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1987 that cops can stop you for any reason and check documents. However Bear is incorrect when he states there is nothing illegal in them searching your car for any reason. .
Maybe it is time to read, before some knee-jerk response

Here is what I wrote...I'll even put the word you seemed to skip in big print
Police can stop and search my car anytime they want, nothing illegal in it
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: Greatest Canadian on
Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:23 pm

I agree.

Look at Dalton McGuilty and Michael Byrant, both are lawyers and Fantino has over 30 years as a cop, yet HTA s. 172 is the most pathetic and flawed law in the history of law.

Bear, whether they search your car or someone else's it would be an illegal search unless something illegal is spotted in plain view.

Only cops would have the balls to go on TV or make commericals about their unlawful activities. Right now there is commericals on TV about their unlawful RIDE program.

And a while ago after a kid was kidnapped, the cops were shown on the news searching every car that passed a roadblock, including searching the trunk. All without a warrant or reasonable grounds.

As soon as the news media left after filming the piece, the roadblock ended.

It was all a photo op for the cops to make it appear they were actually doing something, but in reality, all they were doing was committing unlawful search after unlawful search for everyone to see.

Comedy Gold.

Next thing you know the CONS will be passing a law that cops can knock on your house door and enter to search for drugs without a warrant.


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by: viper1 on
Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:20 pm

hwybear wrote:
Greatest Canadian wrote:The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1987 that cops can stop you for any reason and check documents. However Bear is incorrect when he states there is nothing illegal in them searching your car for any reason. .
Maybe it is time to read, before some knee-jerk response

Here is what I wrote...I'll even put the word you seemed to skip in big print
Police can stop and search my car anytime they want, nothing illegal in it
Sorry about that hwybear

My bad.

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