Impaired driving is a crime that claims nearly twice as many lives each year in Canada as all forms of homicide combined, and it is entirely preventable. MADD Canada welcomes the legislation announced today as a significant reform of our country’s impaired driving laws.
Today’s proposed legislation will improve screening and detection measures for drivers impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, and will effectively reduce impaired driving and prevent crashes, deaths and injuries.
With respect to the specific new laws being proposed around drugged driving, within the context of the legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana, MADD Canada is pleased to see proposals for new roadside screening measures, the establishment of driving limits and new charges specific to drugged driving. Drugs can impair driving ability and increase the risk of a crash, and these new laws and tools are crucially needed.
The provision for mandatory alcohol screening is also particularly significant as this is one of the single most effective measures Canada can adopt to reduce impaired driving. It has resulted in dramatic and sustained reductions in impaired driving crash deaths in countries which have adopted it, and will do the same in Canada.
This legislation is consistent with measures MADD Canada has identified as effective means to reduce the incidence of impaired driving and to prevent deaths and injuries. MADD Canada will continue to provide our input to the Government as it proceeds with this significant reform of impaired driving laws in Canada.