Most significant change to impaired driving laws in over 40 years.
On June 21, 2018 the Government of Canada signed Bill C-46 into law. The legislation amended Canada’s impaired driving laws to allow law enforcement officers to conduct mandatory roadside alcohol breath tests on drivers they pull over, without requiring a suspicion that the person had been drinking. Officers do still need to have lawful cause in order to pull someone over.
The Government of Canada has put in place stronger laws to deter and detect those who drive while impaired by alcohol and drugs, including cannabis which was legalized on October 17, 2018. This legislation takes effect on December 18, 2018.
Similar laws exist in over 40 countries worldwide.
The City of Edmonton Traffic Safety Section, which has adopted a Safe Systems approach to traffic safety, is encouraged by this legislation and sees the implementation of these changes to the criminal code as another step toward achieving Vision Zero.
Government of Canada Q & A on recent changes to impaired driving laws
How does Bill C-46 change existing law?
Part 1 amends the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with offences and procedures relating to drug-impaired driving. Among other things, the amendments
(a) enact new criminal offences for driving with a blood drug concentration that is equal to or higher than the permitted concentration;
(b) authorize the Governor in Council to establish blood drug concentrations; and
(c) authorize peace officers who suspect a driver has a drug in their body to demand that the driver provide a sample of a bodily substance for analysis by drug screening equipment that is approved by the Attorney General of Canada.
Full text of bill C-46 https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/bill/C-46/royal-assent
Join us at T2019 to discuss the impacts of this legislation on traffic safety in Canada.