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Mothers Against Drinking and Driving (MADD) support random breathalyzer test for any driver on a Canadian road, anytime and anywhere, whether police suspect drunk driving or not.
The man who runs MADD, CEO Andrew Murie, supports this move.
Currently, police can only demand a breathalyzer test if they have grounds to suspect the driver is impaired (either through the use of drugs/alcohol) to drive. This is the system that has been in place for the last forty (40) years in Canada.
“We had one of Canada’s leading constitutional lawyers look at the issue of random breath testing,” said Andrew Murie, who was on-hand Tuesday to kick off MADD’s 21st Red Ribbon Campaign in Toronto. “He said it would probably be challenged but it would be upheld because driving is a privilege and the benefits to society far outweigh the infringement (on drivers).”
Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has endorsed such a change in the law, echoing a June 2009 recommendation from the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights that Ottawa amend the criminal code to allow police across Canada to conduct random breath tests.
But “random breath tests” is a slippery slope for a “free and democratic country” such as Canada, said Nathalie Des Rosiers of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Increasing police power to that point, she said, would send the truth north strong and free toward becoming a police state.
“It’s about giving the power to the police to arrest someone anywhere, anytime and subject them to a criminal investigation where they have to comply, even though there is no reasonable grounds that they’ve done anything wrong,” said Des Rosier.