Ottawa’s New Impaired Driving Laws Will be Challenged in Court

Media

OTTAWA – If you choose to get behind the wheel after drinking, you will be caught under incoming federal impaired driving rules, the ministers responsible are cautioning. This direct warning comes in light of new drunk driving rules coming into force in two weeks, during peak holiday party season.

“The likelihood of getting caught is about to increase exponentially,” Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair told reporters on Parliament Hill on Tuesday.

A slate of changes specific to alcohol impairment were passed in June as part of Bill C-46, the drug impaired driving bill that coincides with the new law legalizing cannabis.

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During the legislative process, serious concerns were raised over the constitutionality of the mandatory testing, with Conservatives in the Senate seeking to remove the provisions allowing for these random tests to be done without grounds.

Facing questions about the constitutionality and the potential for civil rights to be infringed on, or racial profiling in the execution of this new provision, Wilson-Raybould said she is “100 per cent confident” that it doesn’t violate the charter, pointing back to the charter statement she issued, which lays out federal lawyers’ arguments for why the legislation is compliant with the constitution.

But Wilson-Raybould said she has “every expectation” that this law will be challenged.

On CTV’s Power Play, criminal lawyer Michael Spratt said a challenge is definitely coming, including on the use of police discretion to pull people over and to demand these tests, because based on previous studies, young men of colour are pulled over at a disproportionate rate to their white counterparts.

“How it actually can play out on the road for some of the most vulnerable Canadians, that is what really breathes life into the constitutional issues that academics, defence experts, and civil liberties told this government about,” Spratt said

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Read Rachel Aiello’s full article: CTV News