Canadians revive random roadside breath test


Janice Tibbetts and Kenyon Wallace
National Post
March 12, 2010

The Harper government appears ready to move ahead with imposing random roadside breath testing, which a new federal discussion paper says has produced “remarkable results” in catching drunk drivers in other countries.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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The proposal has encountered skepticism, however, with civil liberties proponents warning that the new legislation could give police the power to detain drivers without reasonable grounds or suspicion.

“The reality is that it creates a bit of a police-state mentality in which an innocent person can be subjected to a whole host of testings,” said Edward Prutschi, a Toronto criminal lawyer.

“One’s going to have to put an awful lot of faith in the typical officer on the road because they are going to be given a dramatically expanded discretion — basically absolute carte blanche — to stop anyone, anywhere, anytime and demand breath alcohol testing.”

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