Big changes have been made to federal driving laws surrounding impaired driving this week. With these news changes, drunk driving laws are stricter than ever. Right in time for the holiday season.
In short, the new impaired laws now give the police a lot more power. Officers can now administer a breathalyser test to any driver who is pull over, no matter what the reason.
Before this law, officers needed "reasonable suspicion" to administer a breathalyzer test. This suspicion could arise from anything that suggested a driver was drunk such as red eyes, slurred speech, or alcohol breath.
While many are against it, claiming that giving police such unchecked power is a direct violation of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although this is true, most people are very happy with this new law, as it will ultimately help save many lives, some have predicted at least 200 a year.
That said, these new rules also intend to help close some common loopholes people have been using to get away with drinking and driving.
One of them is drinking right before getting in their car, so the alcohol doesn't have time to take effect and enter the bloodstream, especially if your drive is very short.
According to a report by CBC, drivers would often try to get away with this claiming that they weren't "technically" drunk while driving.
However, with the new law, it will be illegal to be drunk within 2-hours of driving. So this new law would effectively close that loophole.
In the end, although these laws may seemingly appear strict, Canada is quite behind other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, and Germany which have had mandatory screenings for years now.