MADD Canada

MADD Canada

June 16, 2005 06:59 ET

MADD Canada urges passage of Bill C16

MADD: ‘Ensure safe roads by passing drug-impaired driving law now" Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA, ON--(CCNMatthews - June 16, 2005) - The current drug impaired driving legislation is necessary to provide the legal framework to effectively deal with the rising incidents of toking and driving - so says Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Appearing before the Justice Committee, MADD Canada today urged Parliamentarians to swiftly pass the legislation respecting drug impaired driving that will give police the means to train and implement the changes necessary to keep Canadian roads safe from drug impaired drivers.

"With the rising trend in the use of drugs, like marijuana, and the government's intention to loosen marijuana possession laws, we need this drug impaired driving law now," says Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's Chief Executive Officer. "We hope the Bill will pass this Parliament because police and the judicial system need the legal framework to effectively enforce drug impaired driving law. Police need adequate resources and the time for proper training to detect and charge drug impaired drivers. Our judges and courts will need time to absorb the new emphasis placed on the crime of drug impaired driving."

"Motorists need to be safeguarded from those who toke and drive impaired," adds Mr. Murie.

MADD Canada's Legal Director, Professor Robert Solomon of University of Western Ontario's Law Faculty, cited areas where the Bill could be strengthen, including authorizing all health practitioners to take blood samples and allowing police to videotape sobriety tests. He also called for adequate resources to be committed for the law's implementation. "For the new law to be effective, police will need proper training and certification; there will need to be sufficient laboratory and toxicological resources; and, judges will need to become familiar with standard field sobriety and drug recognition tests."

Professor Solomon lauded the principles of the drugs and driving legislation. "On Canada's roadways, impaired driving constitutes a significant traffic safety problem - one that will likely get worse as more young people begin driving and our country's drug possession laws change. Bill C-16 is very important because it provides the framework for drug-impaired driving enforcement."

MADD Canada and partnering national police organizations - the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Professional Police Association - have championed the need for drug impaired driving legislation since the Federal Government announced the introduction of new drug laws in 2003. In a national public opinion poll commissioned last year by MADD Canada, 90 per cent of Canadians supported new drug-impaired driving laws to keep roads safe from those who toke and drive.
/For further information: Chris George 905-641-5389/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Phone: 800-665-6233 ext. 224
    Secondary Phone: 416-720-7642
    E-mail: amurie@madd.ca