Kyla in Red Deer Advocate: ‘Taking the lead:’ Calgary police expanding mandatory drunk-driving checks

Police say all drivers in Calgary can expect a breath test if they are pulled over or go through a checkstop — an approach an anti-drunk-driving group wants forces elsewhere to follow, but one that defence lawyers warn is rife with constitutional pitfalls.

Since December 2018, when new federal impaired driving legislation took effect, police in Canada have been able to demand preliminary roadside samples without reasonable suspicion that drivers have been drinking.

Kyla Lee, a Vancouver-based impaired driving lawyer, said rights to counsel and to be free from arbitrary detention are also at issue.

Lee said she’s not aware of any other police departments touting stepped-up mandatory alcohol testing measures.

“Knowing that there have been several constitutional challenges filed in this country to that law, it’s very brazen and I am surprised to see it.”

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