05% law may be unconstitutional


damngrumpy
#1
Judge rules against drunk driving law (external - login to view)
by The Canadian Press - Story: 67940
Nov 30, 2011 / 12:13 pm



Photo: The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
RCMP Const. Faz Majid removes an open bottle of beer from a motorist's car during a roadside check in Surrey, B.C., on September 24, 2010. The B.C. Supreme Court says the high costs and lengthy roadside suspensions imposed on some drivers who fail a blood-alcohol test are unconstitutional. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck


The B.C. Supreme Court says the high costs and lengthy roadside suspensions imposed on some drivers who fail a blood-alcohol test are unconstitutional.
Justice Jon Sigurdson found British Columbia's new laws aimed at cracking down on drunk driving go too far by allowing an automatic 90-day driving suspension when someone blows over .08 on a breathalyzer test.
The law also allows for penalties that could cost the suspended driver over $4,000 and Sigurdson says those are significant without any opportunity for a driver to appeal.
He says the province could have easily provided a way for drivers to challenge the results of the screening device.
However, Sigurdson upheld provisions of the law that allow for suspension of up to 30 days for anyone that blows between .05 and .08.

This should raise a whole lot of questions seeing as Alberta and Saskatchewan
are contemplating similar legislation. I wonder where it will go from here?
 
petros
+4
#2  Top Rated Post
It's pretty damn simple. Don't drink or do dope and drive and you won't lose your privileges.
 
TenPenny
+3
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

It's pretty damn simple. Don't drink or do dope and drive and you won't lose your privileges.

With the way the laws are being enforced, it's not DOING those things that is the problem, it's being ACCUSED of doing them that's the problem.
 
petros
#4
If you fail the dance, you fail the dance.
 
WLDB
+4
#5
People shouldnt be driving with any alcohol in their system. Hell, there are a fair number of sober drivers out there who shouldnt be driving either.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+3
#6
They need to either make alcohol consumption and driving a motor vehicle illegal or quit toying with the law. The half measure .05 is a load of crap feel good law that does not deter drunk drivers. People who drive drunk are not deterred by feel good laws and in most cases aren't even deterred by heavy penalties.
 
Mowich
#7
I read elsewhere that the judge has asked both parties to return with arguments that may 'resolve the infringement.'

So all is not lost yet. If BC's Crown Attorneys can come up with a viable method of protecting citizens rights within the existing law, then we may still have a chance of seeing the law stand.

Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

With the way the laws are being enforced, it's not DOING those things that is the problem, it's being ACCUSED of doing them that's the problem.

This is true.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

If you fail the dance, you fail the dance.

The problem is that the way the law is enforced right now, one is akin to being guilty until proven innocent. Everyone deserves the right to due process, even........sadly, drunks.

Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

They need to either make alcohol consumption and driving a motor vehicle illegal or quit toying with the law. The half measure .05 is a load of crap feel good law that does not deter drunk drivers. People who drive drunk are not deterred by feel good laws and in most cases aren't even deterred by heavy penalties.

Zero tolerance.

A 40% drop in the death rate is a significant number and shows that the penalties are a substantial deterrent.

You are right about habitual drunk drivers, RCS.......there will always be people who think they are smart enough to get away with it, or simply don't give a damn about the consequences. That does not mean that we can't do everything within the law to catch the others.
 
petros
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

They need to either make alcohol consumption and driving a motor vehicle illegal or quit toying with the law. The half measure .05 is a load of crap feel good law that does not deter drunk drivers. People who drive drunk are not deterred by feel good laws and in most cases aren't even deterred by heavy penalties.

Numbers schmumbers. Impaired driving covers far more than booze.
 
Spade
#9
If drinking and driving is to be outlawed, why are pubs permitted to have parking lots...
 
petros
#10
If laws were outlawed only outlaws would have laws.
 
PoliticalNick
+1
#11
This is definitely unconstitutional. Up to $4000 in fines and a 90 day suspension without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom is insane. They are handing out a sentence for a criminal offense without due process and that cannot be allowed to happen. Especially when you think that the cop on the side of the road is now judge, jury and executioner. Really you don't even have to be drunk, one drink and say the wrong thing to a cop in a bad mood and there goes your license (and maybe your job) and $4000. And what about a 30 day suspension for being under the legal limit??? Thats like getting a ticket for going 45 in a 50 zone. I think this is an outrage and hope the judges ruling puts the cops in their place.

BC has already had some issues over DUI enforcement. They tried a zero tolerance over christmas a couple of years ago and were giving 24-72 hour suspensions for a sip of wine. It didn't last long and they backed off in a hurry once a couple of lawyers reminded them the legal limit was .08 not .00 .

Before anyone gets the wrong idea...I don't drink & drive (I barely drink) and I will give any of my friends or family a ride if they have been drinking.
 
Colpy
+2
#12
A blood alcohol limit of .05% is bloody ridiculous.

Screw MADD
 
petros
#13
How about .04?
 
Spade
+2
#14
The presumption of guilt and immediate punishment meted out by the police based on a fallible measure without first recourse to the courts are what makes this bad law. Of course no one should drive impaired, but can impairment be confirmed by swirling electrons?
 
TenPenny
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by SpadeView Post

If drinking and driving is to be outlawed, why are pubs permitted to have parking lots...

'drinking and driving' is not against the law.

Driving while impaired, or with a blood alcohol level over .08, is.
 
petros
#16
You don't need numbers to be labelled impaired.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+2
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by MowichView Post

Zero tolerance.

A 40% drop in the death rate is a significant number and shows that the penalties are a substantial deterrent.

You are right about habitual drunk drivers, RCS.......there will always be people who think they are smart enough to get away with it, or simply don't give a damn about the consequences. That does not mean that we can't do everything within the law to catch the others.

We are not catching the others Mowich, at least not in Ontario. The .05 law isn't about getting real drunk drivers off the road, it's just a cash grab wrapped in self righteousness. What happens here is you get your car impounded, you get a 3 to 12 hour suspension, but no charges are laid and they alert your insurance company.

It a bullcrap law to appease MADD and the insurance companies.

I understand people looking for justice with drunk driving, the punishment for habitual drunk driving is a joke, but this is just window dressing for avoiding the real issue.
 
petros
#18
Quote:

It a bullcrap law to appease MADD and the insurance companies.

Oh nice. A conspiracy theory. Go pitch a tent down at the MADD offices and show your disdain in protest.
 
JLM
+1
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

Judge rules against drunk driving law (external - login to view)
by The Canadian Press - Story: 67940
Nov 30, 2011 / 12:13 pm



Photo: The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
RCMP Const. Faz Majid removes an open bottle of beer from a motorist's car during a roadside check in Surrey, B.C., on September 24, 2010. The B.C. Supreme Court says the high costs and lengthy roadside suspensions imposed on some drivers who fail a blood-alcohol test are unconstitutional. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck


The B.C. Supreme Court says the high costs and lengthy roadside suspensions imposed on some drivers who fail a blood-alcohol test are unconstitutional.
Justice Jon Sigurdson found British Columbia's new laws aimed at cracking down on drunk driving go too far by allowing an automatic 90-day driving suspension when someone blows over .08 on a breathalyzer test.
The law also allows for penalties that could cost the suspended driver over $4,000 and Sigurdson says those are significant without any opportunity for a driver to appeal.
He says the province could have easily provided a way for drivers to challenge the results of the screening device.
However, Sigurdson upheld provisions of the law that allow for suspension of up to 30 days for anyone that blows between .05 and .08.

This should raise a whole lot of questions seeing as Alberta and Saskatchewan
are contemplating similar legislation. I wonder where it will go from here?

Constitutional doesn't mean right. The figures have already indicated the number of traffic deaths are down and THAT should be the bottom line. It's not rocket science, if you don't want to fork out $4000 in penalties DON'T imbibe prior to driving. If you have to drink wine with your meal, take a taxi or get the meal delivered to your house. If the problem is with the breathalyser use three breathalysers. It's just one of these things where you do WHATEVER IT TAKES to save lives. Who cares what some weak kneed judge has to say about this sh*t?
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Oh nice. A conspiracy theory. Go pitch a tent down at the MADD offices and show your disdain in protest.

A conspiracy theory. That's hilarious.
 
JLM
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

How about .04?

0.02 would be better.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+3
#22
Stiffer penalties for real drunk drivers would be better. Instead they institute a law that is akin to the long gun registry, while hardcore drunk drivers get light sentences.
 
petros
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

0.02 would be better.

0.0 would be best but some feel being fined or jailed for breaking the law is too hard on them.
 
Cannuck
#24
Simple solution really. You should be allowed to drive impaired but you can't drive over 40 kph, you can't drive on a numbered highway (or cities could have "no drunk" routes on major thoroughfares), and you must have a flashing green light on your car to identify yourself as impaired. The biggest threat to drunk drivers is that they try so hard not to appear drunk. They get on a highway and drive 100 so the "fit in".

I know it sounds stupid but if the goal is actually to make our roads safer, this would do more than the current laws.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

0.0 would be best but some feel being fined or jailed for breaking the law is too hard on them.

An all out ban would make more sense than .05, but it won't happen.
 
petros
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

and you must have a flashing green light on your car to identify yourself as impaired.

A flashing green light on a vehicle already means First Responder or VFD member on their way to an emergency.
 
Cannuck
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

A flashing green ligh on a vehicccle already means First Responder or VFD member on their way to an emergency.

I know but nobody uses it anymore.
 
petros
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

I know but nobody uses it anymore.

Why bother when traffic is already a NASCAR event. NASCAR with impaired people makes it more fun.
 
TenPenny
+1
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Constitutional doesn't mean right. The figures have already indicated the number of traffic deaths are down and THAT should be the bottom line.

If we don't allow anyone to drive, traffic deaths will drop more. Is that the bottom line?

We should not have any rights to proper process, because things might get messy. That seems to be your reasoning.

Think of the children!
 
lone wolf
+2
#30
To hell with .05-.08 and lawyer fodder. When are they going to do something serious about unlicenced bulletproof drunks who keep getting behind the steering wheels of their uninsured vehicles?
 

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