Minister says impaired driving bill would not violate charter
OTTAWA — Demanding a breath sample from a motorist is no different than asking for their licence and registration, Canada’s justice minister argued Thursday as the federal Liberal government defended its proposed new crackdown on impaired driving.
Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled a so-called “charter statement” in the House comprising arguments why the government believes the measures are permissible under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized as reasonable the authority, under provincial law and common law, of police officers to stop vehicles at random to ensure that drivers are licensed and insured, that the vehicle is mechanically fit, and to check for sobriety,” Wilson-Raybould’s statement says.
“The information revealed from a breath sample is, like the production of a driver’s licence, simply information about whether a driver is complying with one of the conditions imposed in the highly regulated contexts of driving.”
The new mandatory alcohol screening measures would mean police could demand a breath sample from any driver they stop — even if they had no suspicion the person had been drinking.