RCMP address concerns about new impaired driving laws

By Justin Dionne
January 11, 2019 - 1:30pm Updated: January 11, 2019 - 3:02pm

Some lawyers throughout the country have issues with Canada's new impaired driving laws.
They say the new rules could lead to people having to provide breathe samples at home or even at a restaurant under the suspicion they were previously driving impaired.

 RCMP Corporal Chris Warren says police will still follow up and attempt to locate a suspect of an impaired driving collision regardless of their location.

"Mandatory alcohol screening provisions in the Criminal Code authorize police officers to demand that any lawfully-stopped driver provide a breath sample into an approved screening device. It also criminalizes consumption after driving, in situations where an individual had a reasonable expectation that he or she may be required to provide a sample (for example, after an accident), and that may serve to obstruct the investigation of the offence. " says Warren."Individuals in their homes or public establishments can't be subject to a mandatory alcohol screening; in these situations, a police officer would need at least a reasonable suspicion the person was impaired while operating the motor vehicle to proceed, again, an example of this would be that an individual was involved with a collision, left the scene and was seen entering a home or a public establishment."

 Warren notes if someone were to be reportedly driving suspiciously, or get into a collision and leave the scene, police would follow up with the driver in the best way possible.

He explains the RCMP understand people might feel uneasy about new legislation, and mandatory alcohol screening will continue to be used to keep the public safe from impaired driving.

Warren adds anyone who notices an impaired driver should call 9-1-1.

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