MADD Canada

MADD Canada

November 21, 2006 10:47 ET

'Pass New Impaired Driving Bill and Make Roads Safer' -- MADD Canada

“From roadside apprehensions to courtroom proceedings, these changes will make a difference."

Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 21, 2006) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada applauded Justice Minister Vic Toews today as the Federal Government introduced new impaired driving measures. The organization is supportive of the Government's initiatives to fight alcohol- and drug- impaired driving and called on all Members of Parliament to pass the legislation as soon as possible.

"This legislation will reduce the incidents of impaired driving in Canada," says Karen Dunham, MADD Canada's National President. "The legislation delivers on the promised drug-impaired driving framework so that police can effectively apprehend and charge drivers who are high on drugs. It goes further to provide important new measures for police at crash scenes and to close legal loopholes that are allowing impaired drivers to escape criminal convictions."

"With this legislation, the Government has shown it's serious about impaired driving." Mrs. Dunham adds, "From roadside apprehensions to courtroom proceedings, these changes will make a difference. Our message to Parliamentarians, today, is to pass the new impaired driving Bill and make Canada's roads safer."

The impaired driving legislation, in part, provides police with tools to detect drug-impaired driver; increases penalties for drug-impaired driving; strengthens presumptions of breath and blood tests; and, promotes awareness about impaired driving.

MADD Canada is pleased with many of the initiatives in the new Bill, and its CEO Andrew Murie points out that strengthening the evidentiary presumptions is among the most important. He says, "Canada appears to be the only country that throws out the results of the evidentiary breath and blood samples based on the unsubstantiated, self-serving testimony of an accused impaired driver. We are very pleased to see the Government limit these challenges."

Mr. Murie explains that the Carter Defence is based on the accused's testimony that s/he consumed only a small amount of alcohol (usually 'just a couple of drinks'). A toxicologist is then called to confirm that the accused's BAC would be below 0.08% if, in fact, only two drinks were consumed. If the court accepts the accused's consumption evidence, the scientific analysis of the accused breath or blood sample is then rejected.

"We hope this legislation will pass expeditiously," says Mr. Murie, "and we call on all MPs and Senators to support it, pass it, and make sure the non-partisan issue of impaired driving is properly addressed during the life of this Parliament."

"On average, more than 4 Canadians are killed and 190 are injured daily as a result of impaired driving crashes - and this is one Bill that must not be subjected to Ottawa's political games. We'll be working with all Parliamentarians to see the legislation pass as soon as possible," says MADD Canada's CEO.
/For further information: Karen Dunahm, National President (cellular, on-site in Ottawa): (506) 650-7473
Professor Robert Solomon, Director of Legal Policy: (519) 661-3603/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS

Contact Information

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