The Criminal Code of Canada sets out the federal impaired driving offences and penalties, as well as enforcement authority and procedures. As such, any proposed amendments or changes to the screening measures and BAC testing police conduct, the grounds on which they stop suspected impaired drivers or the minimum or mandatory sentencing of convicted impaired drivers is federally mandated.

Please see below for two federal countermeasures which MADD Canada believes should be a priority.

For more information on these and our other federal policy priorities, please read our 2012 Federal Legislative Review (PDF).

Random Breath Testing

A large number of impaired drivers go undetected at sobriety checkpoints because they do not display obvious signs of impairment and therefore police do not have grounds to demand a breath test. Random breath testing is a proven effective screening measure which has achieved sustained reductions in impaired driving crashes, deaths and injuries in other countries. It can do the same in Canada.

Drug-Impaired Driving Countermeasures

Canada’s current system of identifying, investigating and prosecuting drug-impaired drivers is not working. Just 2.6% of all the impaired driving charges laid in 2014 were drug-related. (That’s 1,355 charges out of 51,637). Further, the results are not always accepted in court as proof of driver impairment.

The enforcement process would be more accurate and efficient if drivers could be physically tested for drugs the same way they can be tested for alcohol. The technology to test a driver’s drug level using a simple road side saliva test, much like the breathalyzer device for alcohol, is available and is currently being used in other countries.

MADD Canada believes this system of testing is needed in Canada.

For more information, please see:

Collection of BAC Evidence in Hospitals

MADD Canada encourages the federal government to examine this important public safety issue.

For more information, please see: