In May of this year, the federal government announced a forthcoming amendment to the Criminal Code for impaired driving offences, which, in the advent of 2018’s legalization of marijuana (Bill C-45), includes a new legal limit for drug offences and mandatory drug screening. The first part of Bill C-46 adds new sections for driving under the influence of drugs, while the second part proposes reform for the entire Criminal Code transportation regime.
Supporters of the amendment believe it will reduce the number of impaired driving charges across Canada, while critics argue that it will put more impaired drivers in court, resulting in a greater burden on the justice system.
As part of the new roadside testing plan for impaired drivers, the “reasonable suspicion” test will be replaced by mandatory alcohol screening without the police officer first establishing grounds. This is called “random testing,” and those in opposition, like Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee, fear that this mandatory screening will target minorities and that there will be “over-policing in areas for people of colour.” Alternatively, Robert Solomon, professor of law at the University of Western Ontario, believes that with mandatory alcohol screening, all drivers passing the checkpoint are tested, which “reduces the likelihood of subjective enforcement of the law.” He also quotes international results that show a lowered rate of alcohol-related vehicle deaths after the implementation of mandatory roadside impairment testing.
Read the full article at: