The only thing certain in life is change, and in many situations it’s good to make a change. But if you asked opponents to the possible changes to impaired driving laws in Canada, they’d tell you that some changes might be a bit too drastic for the public to accept.
As soon as the new impaired driving laws in Canada were announced, lawyers across Canada spoke up as to their unconstitutionality. Some of the changes to impaired driving laws could include:
Mandatory roadside breath samples
If passed, the new impaired driving laws in Canada could allow police to have more leeway in demanding a breath or blood sample. If they suspect you of driving impaired, they’ll be able to ask you for a sample, and in some cases they may come to your home and ask you to provide a sample from there.
Increased fines if you refuse to submit for breath or blood testing
Some offenders think if they refuse to submit a sample police will not be able to charge them with impaired driving. That’s not true, but if new laws come into effect a first offender who refuses testing will be subject to a minimum $2,000 fine.
Earlier enrollment in ignition interlock programs
The new impaired driving laws in Canada may take away the waiting period before someone can apply for their provincial ignition interlock program. There would be no wait for a first offender, three months for a second, and six months for any repeat offender.
Out of all of the changes, lawyers who have spoke out are focusing on mandatory roadside screening as the biggest and harshest change. Some lawyers have said that it will be challenged on constitutional grounds simply because the police will no longer require reasonable suspicion when they are asking for a breath sample, while others say it puts the burden of proving innocence on the accused instead of the police.
Are the proposed new impaired driving laws in Canada too drastic for Canadians? Time will tell, but if they are passed Canada will be in line to have some of the harshest drunk driving laws in the world.