VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With stricter drunk driving laws coming into effect on Dec. 18, a criminal lawyer in Vancouver says the new law infringes on Canadian’s constitutional rights.
The new rules allow police to demand a mandatory breathalyzer test at all lawful roadside stops, even if the officer has no suspicion that the driver has been drinking.
“It’s hugely in violation of the charter,” adds Kyla Lee with Acumen Law. “People in Canada have the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure.”
She says after Dec. 18, if police demand a sample, people are obligated to provide it, noting the consequences for refusing will be the same as if someone was convicted of impaired driving.
“So you’re facing a mandatory fine, driving prohibition, and a criminal record if you refuse to blow,” Lee adds.
WATCH: New impaired driving laws
Lee expects a constitutional challenge to the law, noting it “significantly infringes” on people’s rights.
“The Supreme Court of Canada has already dealt with this in several cases and in each occasion they ruled that it is unconstitutional to demand that people participate in road-side breath testing without police having a reasonable suspicion there’s alcohol in their bodies,” she says.
But the government has said they are confident that the law abides by the charter, arguing it will make Canadian roads safer.