The Case for Comprehensive Random Breath Testing Programs in Canada: Reviewing the Evidence and Challenges
AbstractImpairment related crashes remain Canada’s leading criminal cause of death. In response, this article examines impaired driving rates and enforcement in Canada and argues that random breath testing programs would increase the risk of apprehension, thereby enhancing the deterrent impact of Canada’s impaired driving laws. The authors analyze the international experience with random breath testing, explaining that most developed and developing countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland have implemented random breath testing. These programs have had significant traffic safety benefits and enjoy broad public support.
The authors argue that, while random breath testing legislation may be found to infringe section 8 and is most likely to infringe sections 9 and 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it should be upheld under section 1. They argue that the potential benefits of random breath testing in Canada would be substantial, while the effects on individual rights would be modest.
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