The Canadian Press

Jody Wilson Raybould
Jody Wilson Raybould

Ottawa: Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says a proposed new law to crack down on impaired driving would not violate constitutional rights.

The new mandatory alcohol screening measures would mean police could demand a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop, even if they had no suspicion the person had been drinking before being pulled over.

In a statement tabled in the House of Commons today, Wilson-Raybould says the new powers Bill C-46 would give police are consistent with what the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees about search and seizure, as well as life, liberty and security of the person.

The Liberal government introduced the proposed legislation alongside its plan to legalize marijuana for recreational use and it would also allow police to demand a saliva sample from a driver if they reasonably suspect the person has drugs in their body.

Anthony Moustacalis, president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, says he is concerned the new law could lead to a higher number of random stops of visible minorities.

Robert Solomon, of MADD Canada, says people already have to go through mandatory screening in order to board a plane or cross a border, so there is no reason why they cannot be subject to a mandatory breath or saliva test for something that poses a much greater risk.