Canada’s new impaired driving laws

By CRM Staff 

Toronto, Ontario — December 4, 2018 — New laws to better protect Canadians from impaired drivers will be coming into effect December 18.

The federal government will be introducing the second instalment of Bill C-46 to the Canadian Criminal Code, which will require police officers to demand breath samples from any driver that has been lawfully stopped. Australia, New Zealand and Ireland have all had success in decreasing the amount of deaths caused by alcohol impaired drivers using this traffic method.

“Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada,” said Ralph Goodale, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness. “Mandatory alcohol screening will save lives in our country, as it has in IrelandNew ZealandAustralia and other countries. Impaired driving is 100 percent preventable – don’t put yourself and others in danger by drinking and driving.”

The new law will repeal and replace the entire Criminal Code transportation regime, resulting in a modern, simplified and comprehensive approach to transportation offences, which includes impaired driving.

“I am tremendously proud to have introduced this legislation and see it passed into law,” said Jody Wilson-Raybould, minister of justice and attorney general of Canada. “I believe these reforms will result in fewer road deaths and fewer Canadian families devastated by the effects of an impaired driver. 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.”

The new legal framework introduced is designed to increase deterrence and the detection of impaired drivers, while also simplifying investigations.

“Giving law enforcement the ability to demand a breath sample from anyone following a lawful stop will make it easier to detect impaired drivers and get these drivers off of our roads,” said Bill Blair, minister of border security and organized crime reduction. “Those who get behind the wheel after using alcohol, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, will face serious legal consequences. Do your part in keeping yourself and loved ones safe and don’t mix alcohol or drugs with driving.”

Part 1 of Bill C-46 came into effect on June 21 and was related to drug-impaired driving.

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