New Law Allows Police to Test Breath Without Suspicion

Changes to impaired driving laws at the federal level in Canada give police the authority to demand breath samples from drivers to test blood-alcohol level without reasonable suspicion ahead of time, as reported by a news story in Global News.

The proposed laws are part and parcel of incoming laws to legalize recreational marijuana use, which is expected to become implemented on July 1, 2018.

Previously, police were required to demonstrate that they had reason to be suspicious of a driver for operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol before they could demand a breath sample from the driver.

Examples of reasonable suspicion include unusual behaviour or alcohol-stained breath at a roadside stop, for example, or if your driving is reported to be erratic.

If these legal amendments stand up in court, it will give police more power to catch drunk drivers on the road. According to MADD Canada, car crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs are the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. Their most recent statistics from 2012 show that 476 fatalities in that year alone were a direct result of a car accident involving a drunk driver—that figure represents 18.7% of all deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions.

Drunk driving in BC causes a lot of personal injuries and deaths. According to ICBC, in 2015, impaired driving was a factor in 23% of all fatal crashes in the province, an increase of two percentage points from the previous year.

Drunk driving accidents ruin many lives in the Lower Mainland and Metro Vancouver. If you are injured in an accident caused by an impaired driver, you’ll want the best legal representation possible to ensure that ICBC gives you the fair treatment you deserve. Call BLW Lawyers today at 604-689-3883 or email us at for a free consultation.

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