'You will be caught,' ministers vow ahead of compulsory breath tests for drivers

Posted
December 6, 2018
Article Source
CTV News

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.

The legislation amended Canada's impaired driving laws to allow police officers to conduct mandatory roadside alcohol breath tests on drivers they pull over, without requiring a suspicion that the person had been drinking. Though in order to pull someone over, the police need to have lawful cause to do so.

If a person fails this screening, showing they are over the legal limit, secondary tests would be taken at a police station to determine, for evidentiary purposes, the person's blood alcohol concentration. The changes also make it illegal to drive within two hours of being over the legal limit, with tougher penalties for doing so.

"Unfortunately what we have over the past number of years is people have come to realize that they can bluff their way through those spot checks," said Blair, who has years of experience doing these kinds of tests in his past life as a police officer.

Read more: 'You will be caught,' ministers vow ahead of compulsory breath tests for drivers