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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

National Post Condemns Random Breathalyzer Tests

As a follow up to this earlier Shotgun post. The NP's editorial board is not enthused by a trial ballon floated last week, calling for granting police the power to conduct random breathalyzer tests on drivers.

If the current approach to impaired driving wasn’t working, there would at least be a public safety argument to make for taking the government’s power to intrude on basic liberties further. But drunk driving rates have dropped significantly over the past decades. Traffic Injury Research Foundation statistics show there were 1,296 alcohol-related deaths in Canada in 1995; in 2006 there were 907 — a 30% drop in just a decade.

Very drunk drivers remain the biggest problem: Among fatally injured drivers with alcohol in their system, almost 60% tested at more than twice the legal limit. Happily, the very drunk are the easiest for police to spot on the roads, and that’s precisely where they should focus their efforts. If the law is to change in order to deal with a small number of incorrigible repeat offenders, it should be through ever-stiffer sentences, not by further eroding the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Posted by Richard Anderson on March 16, 2010 | Permalink


I agree with the stiffer sentences part; however, many cases are plead out. Stiff sentences work only if courts take the trouble to impose them; most often they don't, especially in this country, where most sentences are simply laughable. They also don't deter the incorrigibly stupid.

Furthermore, just because we've realized a drop in 30% over the last decade doesn't mean another 30% drop isn't worthwhile. These numbers represent saved people with dependents, not Monopoly money.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-16 12:29:54 PM

I suspect there is going to be a lot more opposition to this. Especially among us people who think lives are nothing more the Monopoly money.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-03-16 2:17:26 PM

Well, Mike, if the number of Canadians who smoke dope--and pay off violent criminals to do it--is any indication, you have nothing to worry about if you seek company in your indifference to the lives of your fellow beings.

By the way, this measure has passed in nearly 25 other countries, with democratic traditions as strong as ours. Many of them are more socially liberal even than we. So what makes you think Canada will be different?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-16 2:54:32 PM

Totally right, Shane. Totally right. *puffs pipe*

Next the libertines will be demanding their right of habaeus corpus not be stricken from them! There's no right they'll give up in the name of saving lives!

Good show, Shane. Good show! *puffs pipe*

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-03-16 3:04:58 PM

I notice you didn't answer the question, Mike.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-16 8:16:12 PM

This is just intrusive "Big Brother Government", trying to take more liberty away from Canadian's Charter of Rights and Freedoms and turn our country into a Police state, by Acclimating Canadian citizens into the practice of being and becoming slaves!

Did you know that you and your family are under surveillance? For your own defence, Watch: “Shadow Government” http://snardfarker.ning.com/profiles/blogs/videos-shadow-government-full?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Posted by: M Btok | 2010-03-17 5:25:16 AM

Are you drunk now, M Btok? You do not, you have never, had the liberty to drink and drive. In fact, you don't have the liberty to drive, period; it is a privilege conferred by the state and revocable at any time.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-17 6:38:57 AM

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