Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Mr. Personality
Lord of the Board
Posts: 4284
Joined: Apr 12th, 2008, 7:54 am

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by Mr. Personality »

Half of me says, "Good. If you aren't driving dunk, it's not an issue for you."
Another part of me says, "Where does it end."

One thing I've noticed is we seem to have 2 distinct groups in this country. Liberty vs. Law. On one hand you have, say, marijuana legalization with the authorities crying "slippery slope" convinced that marijuana legalization would directly lead to the outright legalization of all drugs. The same argument is made that gay marriage will eventually lead to, "I now pronounce you man and ferret." Meanwhile the side who is for legalization or gay marriage or what have you denies that slope exists.

But when they come up with a plan like this, or public camera surveilance and others start crying about the slippery slope that leads all the way to thought crimes, many (note: NOT ALL) of these same people deny that slope exists. The people in charge would never do such a thing. Only dirty potsmokers and gays would, right?

Even though we're all unique, we start off the same and hold many similarities as a species. Why does the slippery slope only exist on one side not the other?

That's a question I'm asking both sides.
Veovis
Guru
Posts: 6966
Joined: Apr 19th, 2007, 3:11 pm

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by Veovis »

It's always a slippery slope, and I will agree, people will always heavily lean more towards their feelings of what would be ok. IN this instance there is the potential for a reduced amount of impaired drivers on the road, but with the downside of a large hassle to innocent people. Some people find that ok, and some don't. IN other issues many find the tax incomes worth making substances legal, but then you do have the saide that sees the argument getting expanded for all. And how do you proceed to make more legal when some want the existing ones made illegal as well.

The problems with these highly controversial issues, is that when you really look at it, both sides often have some very good points for their side of the argument. When both sides have reason to be seen as correct, what is truely the correct action.
User avatar
dieseluphammerdown
Guru
Posts: 5255
Joined: Apr 23rd, 2009, 8:31 am

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by dieseluphammerdown »

Veovis wrote:It's always a slippery slope, and I will agree, people will always heavily lean more towards their feelings of what would be ok. IN this instance there is the potential for a reduced amount of impaired drivers on the road, but with the downside of a large hassle to innocent people. Some people find that ok, and some don't. IN other issues many find the tax incomes worth making substances legal, but then you do have the saide that sees the argument getting expanded for all. And how do you proceed to make more legal when some want the existing ones made illegal as well.

The problems with these highly controversial issues, is that when you really look at it, both sides often have some very good points for their side of the argument. When both sides have reason to be seen as correct, what is truely the correct action.
I'm not clear as to why you think this is such a large hassle.?

It's a minute of your time to say good evening officer, officer says good evening have you been drinking tonight, you respond no sir nothing to drink at all, officer smells no booze see;s no sign of drinking or smell of booze , officer says thank you carry on, you reply you have a good evening also.


I fail to see the hassle in this.
This message brought to you by a proud old stock Canadian.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Id love to spit some beechnut in that dudes eyes
And shoot him with my old 45
Veovis
Guru
Posts: 6966
Joined: Apr 19th, 2007, 3:11 pm

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by Veovis »

Then why did you react poorly to the thought of a blood tester as well. Or is it simply what I stated that your version of what treatment is acceptable and mine is simply different.

I find it suprising that even when someone is looking at things reasonably and trying to consider both sides of discussions you simply ignore what won't let you continue and argument not participate in a discussion, and unfortunately that is where any point or purpose is lost.

It has been in interesting topic but it seems to have run it's course now.
User avatar
dieseluphammerdown
Guru
Posts: 5255
Joined: Apr 23rd, 2009, 8:31 am

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by dieseluphammerdown »

Veovis wrote:Then why did you react poorly to the thought of a blood tester as well. Or is it simply what I stated that your version of what treatment is acceptable and mine is simply different.

I find it suprising that even when someone is looking at things reasonably and trying to consider both sides of discussions you simply ignore what won't let you continue and argument not participate in a discussion, and unfortunately that is where any point or purpose is lost.

It has been in interesting topic but it seems to have run it's course now.
A blood test is a lot different then simply blowing into a breathalyzer.

Although at the end of the day if i showed some type of impairment and no alcohol seemed present then a blood test may be necessary.

AS for your last part it's to bad you feel that way.

Maybe your just not making sense in trying to defend your views.
This message brought to you by a proud old stock Canadian.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Id love to spit some beechnut in that dudes eyes
And shoot him with my old 45
User avatar
damngrumpy
Übergod
Posts: 1714
Joined: Dec 19th, 2005, 11:29 am

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by damngrumpy »

I would expect this kind of action in the former Soviet Union, or the East German Police.
In this country there is an expectation that the police cannot stop you for no reason at all.
I do object to this sort of thing, unless its a road block looking specifically for drunk drivers.
The reason I don't like random individual checks is because it has the potential for misuse,
and lately the police in too many cases have not conducted themselves with honesty and
unbiased actions. We are a society that appears to cast an entire population under suspicion
rather than firmly dealing with outlaws and miscreants. There are other ways of finding out
who is up to what without resorting to this stuff. I do believe police should be able to stake
out bars and clubs to see who is getting behind the wheel of their death machines at 2 am.
I believe they should be allowed to set up road blocks looking for unsafe vehicles, and that
sort of thing, but random checks for people suspected of nothing but the whim of the officer,
no way. There has to be a specific reason for stopping ordinary citizens in my view, it too
much power to the police
fred 2
Fledgling
Posts: 150
Joined: Apr 9th, 2009, 8:51 am

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by fred 2 »

IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN DRINKING OR TAKING DRUGS YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM.There is too much
mayhem on the roads, this may save a few lives just knowing you could be stopped at any time.
Most who worry about freedom are the ones breaking the law.
my5cents
Guru
Posts: 7358
Joined: Nov 14th, 2009, 2:22 pm

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by my5cents »

Not sure how interested anyone is in this thread as it's getting pretty old, but today’s Editorial in the OK Sunday and recent press has opened up the issue again.
For what it’s worth....
People are stating “well we have to do something about the carnage on the roads”, “I don’t drink and drive, so I’d be happy to give a sample”
We are seeing the courts give very lenient sentences for not only impaired driving but serious collisions that have resulted in deaths.
Are the proponents of loosing a freedom OK with the courts not doing their jobs but we citizens loosing out rights to help apprehend more impaired drivers so the courts can slap them on the wrists ??
I’ve read, “well I was searched at random when I went to the concert”, “I was searched at random when I went through security at the airport”. You had a choice of not entering the airport, or the concert. You had a right.
Someone is going to say “well you have the right not to drive”.
Much like the argument about if a vehicle is a public place (it isn’t, according to case law), I have the same argument that by driving a vehicle the driver is in a public place, he is not entering a secure area like an airport, or a private place like an arena, thus he/she should have the right not to be subjected to a search with reasonable grounds.
So we allow the police to randomly demand breath tests from any driver of a motor vehicle. A driver says “No, I won’t blow, you are infringing on my rights”. Do we charge him with Failing to Provide a Breath Sample under the Criminal Code of Canada ?
So we now have this law, police can demand a sample from anyone.
I come home and my wife has been attacked and stabbed to death, I see a male run from the house. I don’t get a good look at him. I call the police. They cordon off the area of my house and search everyone that they come across without any interrogation just randomly search everyone. They find a knife will that knife be admissible ?
Will we make that form of search legal ? Surely that is a very serious crime. The proponents of the breath test want to allow random tests for suspected impaired drivers who may be impaired and may make it home without hitting a sole. In this case we have a dead woman ! We have a serious offence.
Wouldn't it seem unreasonable to disallow the knife as evidence but charge the driver ? So down the slope we go.
Now what ? How far do we go ?
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it"
cutter7
Grand Pooh-bah
Posts: 2461
Joined: Apr 27th, 2008, 11:11 am

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by cutter7 »

All that training to spot a drinking driver must be b.s. if they have to administer a random breathalizer. Talking to the driver, listening to speech, smell, and pupil dialation not good enough?
User avatar
SpaceAddict
Lord of the Board
Posts: 3128
Joined: Nov 15th, 2007, 6:22 am

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by SpaceAddict »

The problem..

Probable cause...

When they brought in the original road side check stops they where illegal because of lack of probable cause.. So they change the law they said for the greater good. Fine, problem is they use that same change now in untended ways. Most of the time now it's unintended ways BTW. Say road side seat belt checks. ( The problem is akin to searching the city house by house to find the law breakers. ) Don't have anything to do with drinking in driving they can stop you for no reason what so ever now cause that part changed gives them immunity.

This new law which I don't even, can't even, comprehend what advantage it has over the present system will do the same thing. Like what exactly is wrong with suspect you have been drinking? Just that alone gives them the power to do anything they want so why the need for this new law ?

The penalties of the LAW need to be made much harder. The slap on the wrist system is broken.

This is where you are wrong:

"IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN DRINKING OR TAKING DRUGS YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM."

It will be everyone's problem because then they don't need any excuse to pull over anyone. I don't even drink let lone drive and I bet I'll be subject to this in short order if it goes threw. It then becomes my problem.
my5cents
Guru
Posts: 7358
Joined: Nov 14th, 2009, 2:22 pm

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by my5cents »

There is no road check legislation at this time.
I’m concerned with the government implementing a law that says it’s OK for the police to randomly stop a motorist and require the motorist to provide a breath sample, even if the police never “abused that power” for another purpose (they will, no doubt).
If the government want to remove the rights of citizens, why just attack impaired driving ? What about the person walking down the street suspected of a murder ? a (legal) random search ???
Impaired driving is bad, don’t get me wrong. However this drunk hasn’t yet hurt anyone (it’s likely he/she will). Are we saying we should remove the rights of all motorist so we can catch impaired drivers that “might” be in an accident ? We aren’t going to remove the rights of people walking on a public street to catch someone who HAS just killed someone.
Our application of law and procedures are very skewed. For example, the police aggressively search out violators of the motor vehicle act. (speeding being the big one) because a motorist who speeds has a greater chance of causing an accident. Right ???
BUT… the police don’t attend car accidents unless they are serious. There is no program to monitor the number of accidents a person is involved in with respect to taking action against that person’s right to drive.
Ie, if I get three speeding tickets in the next 6 months, on top of the fines I’m probably going to get a letter from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles that they are taking away my license. However I could have 3 accidents each month for the next 6 months and as long as I didn’t get a ticket, nobody cares (if I’m at fault and I’m driving a vehicle I insured, my insurance is going to go up at the end of the year, but I”ll still have a driver’s license to go out driving a cause more mayhem).
So I do something (a MVA violation) that MIGHT cause an accident, (and I’m caught), I receive punitive action. I actually HAVE an accident and it’s not likely I will receive any punitive action ????
With respect to seat belts, the police hide around a blind corner as the vehicles appears they view the occupants to see if they can see if there is usage of a seat belt or not. (Plain view)
One of the problems, in my opinion, is the lack of police resources, which will never end. Especially with the RCMP. Historically the RCMP will police an area (based generally on population) with a much lower ratio of police to population. The other is the courts are not hammering the guilty.
On top of the above, the charge of Impaired Driving and the charge of Driving with a BAC over 80 mgs is the most disputed criminal charge by a mile. As a result there is a ton of case law that has complicated the entire investigation of an impaired driver. If all the "i's" are not dotted and the "t's" crossed the accused walks. As a result (and ironically) you see a very high number of 24 hour suspensions given out when perhaps a charge would be more appropriate but because of the lack of manpower and the fact an impaired driving investigation will take the member 6 or more hours the driver gets the 24 hour suspension.
My point is :
Why risk/change the rights of Canadians when the problem is that the courts are not applying the penalties that are available and the number of impaired drivers that are already let go (catch and release) with a 24 suspension because of the lack of police resources. There has been talk of lowering the blood alcohol limit, and this current talk of random breath tests. WHY ??
I would like to see a full examination of the courts with respect to the number of criminal driving convictions vs acquittals because of an overly technical standard placed on the prosecution, the amount of damage/injury that was caused vs the sentence and the history of previous offences by the driver vs the sentence.
Also an examination of the number of 24 hour suspensions given out when criminal charges were not laid and their reasons.
If the police are locating lots of impaired drivers but giving them roadside suspensions, the deterrent factor has been removed, so no wonder the problem isn’t diminishing. If that’s the case, why removed rights of the citizens of Canada.
If the courts via the laws of Canada, either because of legislation or case law, have made it so onerous for the police that they either don’t charge or loose cases in court, we need to clean that end of the law up, not removed rights of citizens so more motorists are caught.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it"
User avatar
Bagotricks
Lord of the Board
Posts: 4516
Joined: Oct 15th, 2006, 1:19 pm

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by Bagotricks »

Last time I checked, when I left my house I didnt have to fear arrest, dentainment and random searches.

I dont have to prove im innocent to be able to go about my day. I dont have to prove im not drunk in order to "be allowed" to drive. I am assumed NOT to be drunk. If the police see me blow a stop sign, swerve from side to side, drive erracticly then they can pull me over and INVESTIGATE. The police (before detaining me) have to have reasonable suspicion in order to question and/or search me.
Last edited by Bagotricks on Mar 15th, 2010, 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
my5cents
Guru
Posts: 7358
Joined: Nov 14th, 2009, 2:22 pm

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by my5cents »

I agree with your comments.
The sad part is your last line “How dumb do they think we are”. I suspect they think we are very dumb and in a lot of cases they are correct.
When we see comments like “Well I don’t drink and drive so they can stop me and test my breath”, you know they just don’t get it.
Photo radar was one that really got me, they took a photo of the rear of your car (for some privacy reason they felt they couldn’t show your face)
Two months or so later you get a letter with a photo of the back of your car telling you that you were speeding at a certain time and date about two months previous and if you wanted to dispute the allegation what to do, if not, send $.
My father use to say the same thing “I don’t care if they issue photo radar tickets, I don’t speed”.
Well I got one ticket, it was a company car. I racked my brain trying to remember being on Harvey on a Saturday morning at 10:00 AM two month previously, heck I don’t remember where I was at 10:00 AM yesterday. I finally had myself convinced that, yes I must have been there etc etc. Then my wife reminded me that I had be issued a different company car the week before and the car depicted in the photo was given to someone else. Proving that “not being guilty” doesn’t insure immunity.
I still don’t understand how the Province can suspend the driver’s license of a person charged with Impaired Driving. Not convicted, charged. I guess we already have an environment of guilty until proven innocent, actually in this case I guess it’s guilty before even before your trial.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it"
big-d2C
Fledgling
Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 26th, 2009, 3:23 pm

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by big-d2C »

and why should those of us that do not drink and drive have to deal with an officer who already thinks that they are above the law getting more power and abusing it even more. or as someone said first its random stops next it is random house inspections. and to a degree your right it is speculation but look at the pattern slowly we are giving up freedoms that we law abiding people dont desirve to loss are freedoms because of those who chose to give them up or choose to live the criminal life
User avatar
CanuckinOZ
Fledgling
Posts: 197
Joined: Nov 29th, 2004, 2:07 pm

Re: Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Post by CanuckinOZ »

Murie said its biggest selling point is that it improves road safety, with drunk driving fatalities dropping 36 per cent in Australia after legislation was introduced, and 23 per cent in Ireland when it made the change.


Can someone clairify something for me again, doesn't Canada already have RBTs (random breath testing)? they just call them counterattacks.

Essentially in Australia, that what an RBT is, a counterattack (checkpoint) on certain roads going out of an area known for drunk drivers, they do randomly pull people over, but really it is using the suspicion that the individual is under the influence, having the time of day, ie. early morning.

there have been a couple of instances where I was in a vehicle, on the way out fishing, but because of the look of the car,and it being 4:30 in the morning, the police felt compelled to check to make sure we were safe to be on the road, theres nothing wrong with that, unless it leads to further harassment.

Return to “Canada”