Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair looks on as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould respond to a question about drinking and driving laws during a news conference in Ottawa, Tuesday December 4, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Liberals defend new powers to demand roadside breath samples

Alcohol screening regulations taking effect Dec. 18 will let police to demand a breath sample from any driver they stop

Federal ministers are playing down the potential for racial profiling and civil-rights violations as they tout strict new measures against drunk driving.

Mandatory alcohol screening regulations taking effect Dec. 18 will allow police to demand a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop — a lower bar than the current threshold, which requires suspicion the person has been drinking.

READ MORE: Driving with dope: Police talk rules on cannabis in the car

The roadside test could justify further investigation including more elaborate testing at a police station.

The government says the aim is to save lives by helping police catch drivers with more than the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstreams.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says she’s confident the measure is consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says if a police stop were motivated by bias, it would be unlawful and contrary to the charter — and therefore a breath test would be inadmissible in court.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ten hour planned power outage coming for north Island residents

To keep crews and the public safe, power must be switched off while BC Hydro completes the work.

A parent’s pandemic survival kit: Are you rewarding bad behaviour? Part 2

The phrase, “be good” is just an anxiety-provoking nebulous idea that threatens rejection.

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Pay cuts, seating charts, COVID screening: How one B.C. venue is bringing back concerts

A growing number of bars and restaurants are welcoming back musicians under COVID-19 precautions

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Most Read