Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

June 30, 2008 09:07 ET

CAA Applauds Law Coming Into Force to Combat Drug Impaired Driving

Parliament gives police increased capacity to remove drug impaired drivers in time for summer driving season

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 30, 2008) - The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) today applauds the coming into force of Bill C-2, the Tackling Violent Crime Act. CAA has long maintained that strong legislation, strict enforcement and continuing education are the first steps to end the practice of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"This new law is great news for Canadian motorists," said CAA President Tim Shearman. "Road safety is a primary concern for our members and it is CAA's view that drug impairment should be treated the same as alcohol impairment. The measures contained in this new law will ensure that police have the tools necessary to remove drug impaired drivers from our roads. And it couldn't have come at a better time. Summer driving season marks a time when more and more families will be on Canada's roadways."

Commencing July 2nd, refusing a roadside drug test will be equivalent to refusing a breathalyzer test for alcohol, and will be subject to the same sanctions. According to CAA, the new law will dramatically improve road safety by;

- Allowing police to conduct roadside physical coordination tests (Standardized Field Sobriety Tests),

- Allowing a suspect to be examined by a Drug Recognition Expert,

- Permitting police to collect a bodily fluid sample to determine intoxication,

- Increasing the legal consequences of refusing to submit to a test for drug or alcohol levels,

- Increasing penalties with respect to both alcohol and drug impaired driving.

"The new measures which come into force on July 2nd promise to change our understanding of impaired driving," said Shearman. "Many drug-impaired drivers have been risking their own safety and the safety of others because they either believed that drug impaired driving was legal, or that they would not be caught. This law will go a long way to change that perception."

About the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

CAA is a federation of 9 automobile clubs serving over 5.2 million members through 148 offices across Canada. CAA provides a wide range of member services and works to improve travelling and motoring conditions at home and around the world, including national advocacy efforts on both traffic safety and public policy issues that affect Canadian motorists.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
    Leanne Maidment
    Director of Communications
    613-247-0117 ext. 2007
    lmaidment@national.caa.ca