New laws related to alcohol-impaired driving allow police officers to conduct a breath test from any driver that has been lawfully stopped without requiring a suspicion that the person had been drinking. (File photo)

Stricter drunk driving laws come into effect Dec. 18 across Canada

Drivers can expect compulsory breath tests at road checks come this holiday season

New laws related to alcohol-impaired driving take effect Dec. 18, allowing police officers to collect a breath sample from any driver that has been lawfully stopped, without requiring a suspicion that the person had been drinking.

The legislation, which passed in June at the same time as new rules for drug-impaired driving, is intended to curb injuries and death by helping police catch drivers with more than the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstreams.

“This is one of the most significant changes to the laws related to impaired driving in more than 40 years and is another way that we are modernizing the criminal justice system,” said Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

RELATED: New pot, impaired driving penalties could bar newcomers from Canada

The new rules are aimed at stopping drivers that in the past would deny having consumed alcohol potentially preventing police from forming the reasonable suspicion to require the driver to take an alcohol screening test.

Minimum fines and maximum penalties have also been increased under the new laws.

The new legal framework will increase deterrence and the detection of impaired drivers, and simplify the investigation and proof of the impaired driving offences, according to the Department of Justice Canada, resulting in shorter trials and reduced delays.

RELATED: Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Impaired driving remains a leading cause of fatal car crashes, with an average of 68 lives lost every year in B.C.

In 2017, there were more than 69,000 impaired driving incidents reported by the police, including almost 3,500 drug-impaired driving incidents.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

– With files from the Canadian Press

Just Posted

Search for missing Saanich Peninsula pair ends in tragedy

Vehicle found with two deceased occupants inside

Saanich driver races to Chairman’s Trophy in Mission

Bill Okell has driven the same race car for 44 years

Local school districts gear up for the new back to school season

Seismic upgrades, inclusion and student safety are priorities

Camosun’s continuing education site a quick hit

Hundreds of courses available to launch new career opportunities

Details remains spare as investigation into high-speed crash in Victoria continue

Police watch-dog has assumed investigation of crash that sent three to hospital

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read