New laws related to alcohol-impaired driving allow police officers to conduct a breath test from any driver that has been lawfully stopped without requiring a suspicion that the person had been drinking. (File photo)

Stricter drunk driving laws come into effect Dec. 18 across Canada

Drivers can expect compulsory breath tests at road checks come this holiday season

New laws related to alcohol-impaired driving take effect Dec. 18, allowing police officers to collect a breath sample from any driver that has been lawfully stopped, without requiring a suspicion that the person had been drinking.

The legislation, which passed in June at the same time as new rules for drug-impaired driving, is intended to curb injuries and death by helping police catch drivers with more than the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstreams.

“This is one of the most significant changes to the laws related to impaired driving in more than 40 years and is another way that we are modernizing the criminal justice system,” said Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

RELATED: New pot, impaired driving penalties could bar newcomers from Canada

The new rules are aimed at stopping drivers that in the past would deny having consumed alcohol potentially preventing police from forming the reasonable suspicion to require the driver to take an alcohol screening test.

Minimum fines and maximum penalties have also been increased under the new laws.

The new legal framework will increase deterrence and the detection of impaired drivers, and simplify the investigation and proof of the impaired driving offences, according to the Department of Justice Canada, resulting in shorter trials and reduced delays.

RELATED: Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Impaired driving remains a leading cause of fatal car crashes, with an average of 68 lives lost every year in B.C.

In 2017, there were more than 69,000 impaired driving incidents reported by the police, including almost 3,500 drug-impaired driving incidents.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

– With files from the Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Police use tear gas to apprehend Saanich woman threatening neighbours, police

Woman facing possible criminal charges after standoff with police

Victoria woman loses $2,500 to scammer spoofing VicPD phone number

VicPD warns against sharing personal information, sending money to strangers

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Investigation launched after sudden death of Saanich inmate

B.C. Corrections, B.C. Coroners Service investigating cause, circumstances surrounding death

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

BC Wildfire Service to conduct night vision trials for helicopters in South Okanagan

This technology could assist with future firefighting operations

Victoria man dies after skydiving incident on Vancouver Island

34-year-old had made more than 1,000 jumps

Most Read