Author Topic: Police in Canada can now demand breath samples in bars, at home - Global News  (Read 11571 times)

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Offline ballz

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The legal/justice system is in a constant state of self-correction over exactly these sorts of problems. We’ve got close to 70,000 police in Canada, with easily tens of millions of interactions with Canadians in a given year. In every such interaction a lot of things can potentially happen. So yes, between error, poor judgement, and very occasionally outright malice on someone’s part, things will go wrong. In that regard these new laws are really no different from just about anything else. The same arguments were made in key Supreme Court cases on things like investigative detention, or random traffic stops. It’s the reality inherent in a system governed by the rule of law where one group has to try to enforce same, and others will go to sometimes absurd lengths to get away with whatever it is they’ve done. There’s a lot of murkiness in that ground in between.

That is not me accepting any individual thing done wrong- it should always be seen as something to fix. But it’s unrealistic to expect that perfection is achievable, or that having perfection as a goal should prevent efforts to improve a badly flawed system.

Unlike some others I’m not one of those cops who craps on the Charter. I think it’s key to our society’s functioning, and its protections matter. I’m cognizant of and sympathetic to the liberty concerns here. But I’m also irritated at seeing an actual situation seriously misrepresented by people grinding an axe.

But there's a better way, a way with less risks to innocent bystanders that achieves the same effect of this law. So there's no need to sit here and agree with the legislation. We can say "I agree with the intent of the legislation, but I do not agree with it in its current form." That doesn't make me someone with an axe to grind, it makes me someone who expects legislators to do a better job. The better way is by targeting actual obstruction, which would mean you'd have to be investigating someone for obstruction, instead of broadening the definition a DUI so that it opens up essentially everyone to being investigated and charged for DUI, just so you can catch the few who have committed obstruction.

Like seriously, what is wrong with this alternative (forgive me for shotty legal speak... I'm sure a lawyer would clean it up):

"Obstructing justice
139. (3) Every one who willfully consumes alcohol or drugs within two hours of a motor vehicle accident, collision, incident, or (weird legaleeze speak for things that can go wrong in a car when you a drunk) and therefore ought to have had reasonable expectation that they would be required to provide a sample of a bodily substance

AND

is found to have a blood alcohol concentration and a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood alcohol concentration and the blood drug concentration for the drug that are prescribed by regulation for instances where alcohol and that drug are combined.

is guilty of..." and then subject to sentencing that is specifically designed for people who obstruct DUI investigations, which would essentially be the same sentencing for a DUI.


Please tell me the issue with this kind of approach to hypothetical legislation? Where does it fall short in closing loopholes that this current law does not fall short?

Because I'll tell you where it's better... an anonymous caller calling and saying you were driving erratically wouldn't give the police the ability to charge you with a DUI because you were drunk by your pool on a Sunday.

Surely there is a better way.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 19:12:12 by ballz »
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Offline ballz

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No one in the CAF has to be grilled constantly over and over again by lawyers just looking for discrepancies that stick with you on your work record.... holy apples and oranges.

You're just being deliberately obtuse if you are going to sit here and argue that no police officer oversteps their authority either out of zealousness or malice because they are all afraid to lose their jobs. Even Brihard indicated they exist. Again, see Walter Scott getting shot in the back 8 times as he ran away. The video must be from an alternative universe because according to your worldview, it must not have occurred in this world. Nothing on this list ever occurred either, apparently... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_controversies_involving_the_Royal_Canadian_Mounted_Police
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Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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No one says "no".....we just know they get weeded out real fast.   Hey look at that link, happens so seldom it still makes news.   Call me "obtuse" when it doesn't make news.
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Offline Brihard

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But there's a better way, a way with less risks to innocent bystanders that achieves the same effect of this law. So there's no need to sit here and agree with the legislation. We can say "I agree with the intent of the legislation, but I do not agree with it in its current form." That doesn't make me someone with an axe to grind, it makes me someone who expects legislators to do a better job. The better way is by targeting actual obstruction, which would mean you'd have to be investigating someone for obstruction, instead of broadening the definition a DUI so that it opens up essentially everyone to being investigated and charged for DUI, just so you can catch the few who have committed obstruction.

Like seriously, what is wrong with this alternative (forgive me for shotty legal speak... I'm sure a lawyer would clean it up):

"Obstructing justice
139. (3) Every one who willfully consumes alcohol or drugs within two hours of a motor vehicle accident, collision, incident, or (weird legaleeze speak for things that can go wrong in a car when you a drunk) and therefore ought to have had reasonable expectation that they would be required to provide a sample of a bodily substance

AND

is found to have a blood alcohol concentration and a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood alcohol concentration and the blood drug concentration for the drug that are prescribed by regulation for instances where alcohol and that drug are combined.

is guilty of..." and then subject to sentencing that is specifically designed for people who obstruct DUI investigations, which would essentially be the same sentencing for a DUI.


Please tell me the issue with this kind of approach to hypothetical legislation? Where does it fall short in closing loopholes that this current law does not fall short?

Because I'll tell you where it's better... an anonymous caller calling and saying you were driving erratically wouldn't give the police the ability to charge you with a DUI because you were drunk by your pool on a Sunday.

Surely there is a better way.

As I’ve continued to see stories on this, including finally one better written by the Vancouver Sun, it’s looking likely that the police officers on the file did not properly apply their legal authorities to get a breath sample, nor to issue an Immediate Roadside Prohibiton. An IRP can only be issued to someone the police have actually got operating or in care and control on a highway or industrial road, not after the fact in a residence. IRP only applies when ‘caught in the act’. The Sun article also states that she recorded the event, and that her recording contradicts what the police reported- that being the case, they deserve whatever they get in consequence, and she may have strong grounds for civil action.

If they felt it necessary to pursue the anonymous complaint, their only legitimate course of action would be to investigate the matter towards a reasonable suspicion demand, if they had that, and then to investigate the matter for potential criminal charges. Given the facts as presented, I can’t see that this would have led to charges being laid as she would not satisfy the elements of the offense.

New laws vs old laws make no difference on this one. There’s literally nothing reported that wouldn’t be allowed under the old provisions but would be under the new. This reads to me like a performance issue on the part of at least the lead member involved. Probably compounded by inadequate training on what the new laws do and don’t allow.
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Offline mariomike

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Yes, and well-paying jobs and gold-plated pensions prevents all CAF members from doing anything stupid,

Everyone makes mistakes. But, considering how many CAF members there are ( 95,000? ) I don't believe their members get sued as frequently by the public as members of our emergency services do when they make a mistake. Especially now with cell phone video and You-tube.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Of course, it's the taxpayers who end up paying the lawsuits.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 20:29:27 by mariomike »

Offline Jarnhamar

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Everyone makes mistakes. But, considering how many CAF members there are ( 95,000? ) I don't believe their members get sued as frequently by the public as members of our emergency services do when they make a mistake.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Of course, it's the taxpayers who end up paying the bill.

When CAF members make mistakes it generally doesn't effect members of the public; medically, financially, emotionally, employability, public image, etc...
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Offline mariomike

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When CAF members make mistakes it generally doesn't effect members of the public;

That's what I was trying to say.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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https://nationalpost.com/opinion/chris-selley-the-liberals-police-state-impaired-driving-law-has-to-go

Quote
Chris Selley: The Liberals' police-state impaired driving law has to go

With Canada's drunkest drivers continuing to cause carnage on our roads, the government is targeting asthmatics and people buying wine

The Liberals felt they had to 'get tough' on impaired driving, but this is evidence of what happens when you essentially outsource lawmaking to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network   
Chris Selley
Chris Selley   

June 7, 2019
10:59 PM EDT
Filed under

More and more victims of the federal Liberals’ insane new impaired driving law are making themselves heard, and they’re making Justin Trudeau’s government look very, very foolish — not least because what’s happening is precisely what everyone predicted.

Last week CBC reported on the case of Jimmy Forster, a British Columbia man with diagnosed severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who twice in recent months has been charged with failing to provide a breath sample.

People with lung conditions being unable to register a sample has been an issue in the past. But in the past, police had to articulate some suspicion of impairment before compelling a breath sample. Bill C-46, which received Royal Assent nearly a year ago, eliminated that requirement. Police don’t seem to have suspected impairment either time they nabbed Forster. He says he volunteered to give a blood test, but was rebuffed.

In each case his licence was suspended and his car impounded. All told he’s out some $1,800 and without transportation, which he relies upon not just for himself but for his disabled sister. Even appealing — which he did once successfully and once not — costs $200.

Another British Columbian, 76-year-old Norma McLeod, who also suffers from COPD, was reportedly pulled over and breathalyzed for having just left a liquor store. She couldn’t make the machine go ding, and had her licence and car seized. Her appeal failed despite her doctor testifying to her condition. She’s launching a constitutional challenge against the law, and well she might.

In a statement to CBC, the RCMP claimed their officers’ hands are tied: Where they suspect impairment, the Criminal Code provides for alternative testing methods; but the new section covering “mandatory alcohol screening” does not. This may well be evidence of shoddy lawmaking. But the section emphatically does not compel officers to charge people in situations like Forster’s and McLeod’s.

    The Liberals were warned that these two provisions in particular were engraved invitations to abuse

More at link
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Offline Jarnhamar

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It would be interesting to see the number of drunk drivers charged and found guilty before this law came into affect and after.

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Offline Brihard

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It would be interesting to see the number of drunk drivers charged and found guilty before this law came into affect and after.

My understand is that DOJ in conjunction with prosecutors and police are trying to figure out how to do some decent data collection on this. Not just before/after, but in greater depth about the use of mandatory alcohol screening. I haven’t seen anything come of it yet, but I know a guy in the RCMP’s National Traffic Service who was seeking input from from line police on what viable data collection could look like.

Charges are just one metric of course. Ideally what we want to see is fewer collisions, injuries, and fatalities involving drivers found to be impaired by alcohol. Deterrence is infinitely preferable to enforcement against an offense in commission.

British Columbia saw impaired driving deaths drop by approximately half when they brought in Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. That’s the kind of metric that is sought over anything else. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/driving/publications/dec-2016-alcohol-related-fatalities.pdf
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If find it curious that criminal cases can be imperiled because evidence in bags is improperly transferred in custody and yet the assumption here appears to be that evidence collected after the fact, remote from the scene of the "crime", is held to be valid.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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I'm more concerned with people saying "Hey, this works! What other criminal acts can we diminish by removal of more rights?"

That points to no rights = no crime.

How about a curfew? How about an interlock device in every car? Why not just keep all cars in one lockup and you have to show the cop your license, insurance and a clean BAC before you can retrieve your property? Oh, and all over again when you park for the day.........before curfew and your shuttle home?

Proactively trampling rights to diminish crime is a non starter.
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Yes to interlocks.

Yes to a curfew in Toronto and maybe Vancouver.
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Offline Furniture

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Yes to interlocks.

Yes to a curfew in Toronto and maybe Vancouver.

That's the same reasoning that's used to ban all firearms.

It's easy to agree to people losing their rights, so long as it doesn't negatively impact your own life.

Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Yes to interlocks.

Would it be a bad idea to have a interlock in every vehicle?

Perhaps Victoria city council can table a motion to have car manufacturers foot the bill for checkpoints.  If cars were installed with interlocks there would be a reduced need for checkpoints.


Offline Fishbone Jones

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Would it be a bad idea to have a interlock in every vehicle?

Who do you impose upon to pay for it all?

Who pays to retrofit all the vehicles currently out there?

Of course, the presumption of innocence has long since faded into history, so no need to worry about that anymore.  J'accuse and off to jail you go.
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Offline Lumber

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Who do you impose upon to pay for it all?

Who pays to retrofit all the vehicles currently out there?

Of course, the presumption of innocence has long since faded into history, so no need to worry about that anymore.  J'accuse and off to jail you go.

Who paid to have airbags and seat belts installed in every vehicle?
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Offline Jarnhamar

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That's the same reasoning that's used to ban all firearms.
But I'm not trying to ban firearms. I'd be more than happy to put an interlock device on my gun vaults  ;D
Quote
It's easy to agree to people losing their rights, so long as it doesn't negatively impact your own life.
You're right there.

Would it be a bad idea to have a interlock in every vehicle?

I don't think so.

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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Who paid to have airbags and seat belts installed in every vehicle?

You did.
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Offline mariomike

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Would it be a bad idea to have a interlock in every vehicle?

Probably depends upon one's point of view.

A US study, for reference to the discussion,

Quote
2015

An interlock device in every new car 'could prevent 80% of drunk-driving deaths'
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/291043.php
Every day, almost 30 people in the US lose their lives in an alcohol-related motor vehicle crash. But according to a new study, introducing alcohol interlock devices to all new motor vehicles could prevent more than 80% of these deaths.

The study results suggest that 85% of alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths and 84-88% of nonfatal injuries in the US could be prevented over a 15-year period through installation of interlock devices in all new vehicles. This equates to 59,554 lives saved and around 1.25 million nonfatal alcohol-related vehicle crashes prevented, according to the researchers.


« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 15:39:26 by mariomike »

Offline Furniture

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But I'm not trying to ban firearms. I'd be more than happy to put an interlock device on my gun vaults  ;DYou're right there.

I don't think so.

The problem with chipping away at individual rights and freedoms is, it leads to more chipping away at them. Today it's interlocks, tomorrow it's banning operation of a vehicle during "unsafe" driving hours, next it's requesting permission to travel outside your municipality. Anything for safety, think of the children...

Maybe at the same time in the name of safety it will a ban on private possession of firearms, or knives over a certain length. After all, it's good enough to restrict people's cars for safety why not restrict private possession, and use of all "dangerous" objects.

Offline cld617

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Who paid to have airbags and seat belts installed in every vehicle?

The purchaser of the vehicle did, who has the potential to get into an accident through no neglect of their own. An interlock imposed on everyone for the few who cannot control their criminal behavior is an abhorrent suggestion.

Offline Loachman

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On the plus side, it might protect a few non-drinking drivers from some drinking ones.

Like making it mandatory for everybody to purchase and wear kevlar body armour to protect against criminal misuse of firearms instead of taking firearms away from the law-abiding.

Not that I'm a fan of either suggestion.

Offline mariomike

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We've had RIDE in Toronto since 1977. A lot of people complained in the local papers about their "rights" back then.

I guess most got used to it.
 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 21:45:05 by mariomike »

Offline Furniture

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We've had RIDE in Toronto since 1977. A lot of people complained in the local papers about their "rights" back then.

I guess most got used to it.

An occasional check stop is one thing, having the government involved every time I start my car is a bit much.

It's similar to me not minding that my car might get searched when I go onto the base, but I sure wouldn't accept random vehicle searches just because the police were bored.

That you called them "rights" says a lot...