Justice Minister Suzanne Anton says she’s pleased with this morning’s rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada, upholding key parts of B.C.’s tough drunk driving laws.
And because the high court did not impose any new concerns, Anton says the immediate roadside prohibition program will continue without interruption.
In the two decisions, the court ruled the province did have the jurisdiction to enact the law in 2010, and it did not violate the Charter’s presumption of innocence.
And while it ruled the law violated the Charter prohibition against unlawful search and seizure, B.C. amended the law in 2012 to deal with that issue, allowing drivers who failed a roadside breath test to ask for a second test and apply for a review of their driving prohibition.
Vancouver-based Paul Doroshenko says not every drunk driving case is black and white, and the road side prohibition is unfair.
“If you could actually get enough people to vote against the government to put pressure to make a change on that, that would be wonderful, but I don’t see that happening because until you see the scene yourself, and until you see the unfairness of it yourself, most people are just going to say, ‘You know what? Get drunk drivers off the road.'”
Today’s decision finds police can rely solely on readings from roadside breath samples to justify immediate driving suspensions.