Canada has used a number of different methods to combat impaired driving in recent months, which even go as far as publicly shaming drunk drivers by posting their identities online. One of the most effective methods, however, is new stricter laws.
That's why Canada wrote up new impaired driving legislation that is stricter than ever before. The laws include all sorts of new provisions for testing and penalties and they come into effect next week, on December 18th.
One of the biggest changes in the impaired driving laws is that now police can demand a breathalyzer test of anyone they pull over. Previously, officers had to have a reason to suspect drivers of being impaired. Now, even if you get pulled over for minor reasons such not having your licence sticker renewed, police can demand a breathalyzer test.
As part of the new laws, Canadians can no longer refuse the breathalyzer test anymore. The law makes it so that if an officer requests one, you can't refuse to take it. If you do, you will be charged criminally for refusing to give a breath sample.
Another big change is in the penalties for impaired driving, especially for newcomers. Under the new laws, the penalties for impaired driving can be anywhere from 5 to 10 years. This makes impaired driving a serious crime, meaning that refugee claimants, temporary residents, or even permanent residents could find themselves facing deportation if they are charged.
This would also impact anyone trying to immigrate to Canada who has been charged with impaired driving in another country. The new, higher penalty would make them inadmissible based on our border system.
Some people have questioned the constitutional rights of these new laws, specifically saying it violates Canadians rights protecting them from unlawful searches. MADD and their legal experts, however, are confident the new impaired driving laws will stand up in court on the basis of public safety.
To see the complete list of Canada's new impaired driving laws, click here.