Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair looks on as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould respond to a question about drinking and driving laws during a news conference in Ottawa, Tuesday December 4, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair looks on as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould respond to a question about drinking and driving laws during a news conference in Ottawa, Tuesday December 4, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Liberals defend new powers to demand roadside breath samples

Alcohol screening regulations taking effect Dec. 18 will let police to demand a breath sample from any driver they stop

Federal ministers are playing down the potential for racial profiling and civil-rights violations as they tout strict new measures against drunk driving.

Mandatory alcohol screening regulations taking effect Dec. 18 will allow police to demand a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop — a lower bar than the current threshold, which requires suspicion the person has been drinking.

READ MORE: Driving with dope: Police talk rules on cannabis in the car

The roadside test could justify further investigation including more elaborate testing at a police station.

The government says the aim is to save lives by helping police catch drivers with more than the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstreams.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says she’s confident the measure is consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says if a police stop were motivated by bias, it would be unlawful and contrary to the charter — and therefore a breath test would be inadmissible in court.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
MY COVID STORY: From doctor to patient

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

(From left to right) Twin Meadows Animal Rescue co-directors Puneet Grewal and Nycki Wannamaker with Stick & Stone manager Meaghan Collins, and Stick & Stone owner SJ Nelson. Pictured here with Blue, Hombre, Daphne,Skye and Freedom. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
‘Rescue starts from the moment they come through the doors’: TMARS co-founder

Puneet Grewal of Elkford co-founded TMARS in 2020, and with the help of a small army of volunteers and fosters has helped dozens of animals find homes

(Pixabay)
B.C. ranks as fourth most attractive Canadian jurisdiction for resources companies

B.C. was ahead of neighbouring Alberta, which was ranked as the seventh-best Canadian jurisdiction

Castlegar’s Gabrielle Herle (right) will be one of the speakers at the conference. She is seen here with Wendy Gaskill from Chinook Scaffolding accepting their Contractor of the Year Award in 2019 from the Builders Code Champion Awards. Photo: Submitted
Girls in STEAM and Leadership Conference offered free for all girls in the Kootenay Boundary

Virtual conference for girls in grades 8 to 12 will be taking place on March 8

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Shayna Jones. Photo: Louis Bockner
Kaslo performer collects stories of Black rural experience

Shayna Jones will create a performance piece about Black people ‘tucked away in the countryside’

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

One recipient of a $500 donation from Kootenay Savings was Kimberley’s Spark Youth Centre. Above, Cher Berge KSCU & Bev Middlebrooks Spark. Photo submitted
Kootenay Savings hands out donations to non-profits

Employees at each branch picked a non-profit for a $500 gift

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

BC Emergency Health Services Advanced Care Paramedic Practice Educator Trevor Campbell. (Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation - Contributed)
ECG machines onboard Okanagan ambulances for quickest response to heart attacks

Donations from Lake Country, Predator Ridge, Vernon and Armstrong behind purchase of 8 live-saving machines

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Most Read