Keys lie next to a glass of alcohol.

On highways in Greater Toronto and Hamilton, police require all drivers stopped to take a breathalyzer test. (Archives)

Photo: iStock

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are now requiring all motorists stopped on GTA highways to take a breathalyzer test. However, several experts believe that the law which allows them to do so is unconstitutional.

The Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to means of transportation) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, commonly known as Bill C-46, has been in force since 2018.

This is the same law that allows police officers to arrest a person who has consumed alcohol even if they have not driven for two hours.

According to the police, this is a measure just.

There is no bias. Everyone takes the breathalyzer testaccording to the spokesperson for the PPO Kerry Schmidt.

According to the organization MADD Canada, this measure will reduce the number of people who drive while impaired.

Another Breaking News:  What strengths and weaknesses do the signs have according to their element?

Despite everything, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) insists: this law is probably unconstitutional and violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

No group should feel targeted, police say

According to Mr. Schmidt, 51 people died in alcohol or drug-related traffic accidents last year in the province. It is in order to prevent these tragedies that the police carry out alcohol tests for all drivers, regardless of the circumstances in which they are intercepted by the police.

Kerry Schmidt in interview.

Ontario Provincial Police spokesperson Kerry Schmidt. (Archive photo)

Photo: Twitter/OPP_HSD

When the police for any offense or investigation– they will also include a mandatory requirement for alcohol testing, which aims to ensure that drivers are sober and not driving while intoxicated”,”text”:”stop a driver – for any offense or any investigation– they will also include a mandatory request for alcohol testing, which aims to ensure that drivers are sober and not driving while intoxicated”}}”>arrest a driver – for any offense or investigation – they will also include a mandatory request for alcohol testing, which aims to ensure that drivers are sober and not driving while intoxicatedsaid Mr. Schmidt.

This measure was implemented this week on the highways of Greater Toronto and Hamilton.

He specifies that the PPO is not the first to apply the law in this way, since the RCMP in Saskatchewan already does this.

It is fair for all motorists and (…) no community or group should feel targeted.

A quote from Kerry Schmidt, spokesperson for the Ontario Provincial Police

Unconstitutional, says theACLC

However, Shakir Rahim, director of the criminal justice program at theACLCsays his organization is seriously concerned. According to him, the expansion of the scope of the law violates article 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (New window)which protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Another Breaking News:  Wildfire: Thousands forced to evacuate Fort Nelson, B.C.

We recognize that drunk driving is a serious problem that must be addressed, but we believe there are more Charter-compliant and still effective ways to do so according to Mr. Rahim.

Road blockade under the supervision of police officers.

Mr. Rahim says the road blockade is a measure that works well and respects the constitution. (Archives)

Photo: Radio-United States / Daniel Coulombe

We do not believe that (this measure) is justifiable from a constitutional point of view.

A quote from Shakir Rahim, director of the criminal justice program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

To illustrate the importance of section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Mr. Rahim gives the following example: We could live in a society where police officers could enter your apartment at any time and go through your belongings. They might stop you in the street and tell you to empty your pockets. There might be some crimes that would be detected as a result. But this society is not free and democratic.

Mr. Rahim reminds that anyone who refuses to take a breathalyzer test could face criminal charges.

A portrait of Shakir Rahim.

Shakir Rahim is the director of the criminal justice program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. (Archives)

Photo: Radio-United States / CBC

He adds that the Supreme Court of Canada should look into Bill C-46. He specifies that the more police officers use this provision of the law, the more citizens will ask judges to look into its constitutionality.

MADD is delighted

Steve Sullivan, executive director of MADD Canada, said his organization has been pushing for the expansion of mandatory alcohol testing for years. The organization is dedicated to eradicating impaired driving.

What influences people’s decision to drive impaired (…) is their perception of being caught (or not)according to Mr. Sullivan. If you think there is a greater chance that the police will catch you, you will change your behavior.

According to the Ministry of Justice (New window), research shows that up to 50% of drivers with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit may go undetected during roadside checks. The ministry says rates of drunk driving and fatal road accidents have been significantly reduced in other countries where mandatory alcohol testing has been introduced.

According to Mr. Sullivanmandatory alcohol testing will help police detect more drunk drivers.

When police rely solely on suspicion, they miss many drunk drivers says Mr. Sullivan. : \”When I (imposed systematic breathalyzer tests), I actually found people intoxicated that I would never have suspected in the past\”.”,”text”:”By talking to people police officers in other jurisdictions, I (heard): “When I (imposed systematic breathalyzer tests), I actually found people intoxicated that I would never have suspected in the past.” .”}}”>In talking with police officers from other jurisdictions, I (heard): “When I (imposed systematic breathalyzer tests), I actually found people intoxicated that I would never have suspected in the pass”.

With information from Ryan Patrick Jones of

Similar Posts