MADD Canada

MADD Canada

June 18, 2009 23:09 ET

MADD Canada Responds to Federal Justice Committee Report

Attention: City Editor, News Editor OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 18, 2009) - MADD Canada is, overall, very pleased with the recommendations made in the June 18th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, particularly its endorsement of random breath testing. MADD Canada is disappointed, however, with the Committee's lack of progress towards a 0.05% BAC in the Criminal Code.

Currently, police cannot request a breath sample unless they have reasonable suspicion of impairment. But people do not always exhibit obvious signs of intoxication, particularly those who are experienced drinkers. As a result, many impaired drivers are not being apprehended. In fact, 2006 criminal charge statistics and national survey data suggest that only 1 in every 168 impaired driving trips results in impaired driving charges.

"It is so important that police have random breath testing as a tool in the fight against impaired driving," says Carolyn Swinson, MADD Canada's Chair. "The Committee's recommendation for random breath testing, if enacted, will put Canada in line with most other democratic countries which are tackling the same impaired driving issues as we are here."

MADD Canada also welcomes the Committee's recommendation around alcohol ignition interlock systems. "We have long held the position that those who are convicted of impaired driving should be required to drive with an ignition interlock system for a minimum of one year," Mrs. Swinson said.

Disappointingly, the Committee recommended the Criminal Code of Canada BAC limit remain at 0.08%. MADD Canada and other organizations have recommended the BAC be lowered to 0.05%. Equally disappointing is the Committee basing this decision on the same, previously-used arguments against lowering the BAC, namely that it will overwhelm the courts and that it will not have an impact on hard-core drinking drivers. Research and experiences in other countries which have lowered their BACs do not support these arguments.

"Research has shown that nearly every jurisdiction that lowered permissible BAC limits has experienced significant reductions in impaired driving," says Mrs. Swinson. "It is unfortunate that the Committee did not follow the evidence that indicates a 0.05% BAC will reduce alcohol-related crashes, save lives and prevent injuries."

MADD Canada was pleased to make a submission to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in March, as part of the Committee's consultation process for its report. MADD Canada's submission can be viewed at www.madd.ca.

About MADD Canada
MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.
/For further information: Visit www.madd.ca or call:
Carolyn Swinson, MADD Canada Chair at 416-575-5772
Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager at 1-800-665-6233, ext 240 or 416-995-8237.
/ IN: JUSTICE, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Carolyn Swinson, Chair, MADD Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-575-5772