Random Police Breathalyzer Testing for DUI and Impaired Driving?
Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced in October 2009 that the Canadian government is considering enacting a law that would allow police in Canada to randomly force breathalyzer tests to motorists.
Presently, a police officer must suspect impaired driving before requiring a breathalyzer test. This means a police officer must establish the grounds to ask for a breathalyzer test - such as slurred speech, erratic driving, alcohol odour, physical impairment and so on.
Countries in Europe and Asia have such laws and according to their statistics, car accident fatalities decreased with random breathalyzer testing.
Opponents to the potential law state that random breathalyzer testing would infringe on our Charter rights, and in particular our right against unreasonable from search and seizure.
Another concern is the potential for profiling on race, economic geography, criminal records, driving records (i.e. 24 hour driving prohibitions), and perhaps other profiling.
Time will tell whether Canada follows Europe and parts of Asia with randomized breathalyzer testing.
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