A Private Member’s Bill, introduced in November by New Democrat Member of Parliament Tarik Brahmi, would amend the Criminal Code of Canada to enable
police to demand a breath sample from drivers, as long as the police officer has an approved screening device in his or her possession; and enable police to demand a breath sample from any driver they have reasonable grounds to suspect was operating a motor
vehicle that has been involved in a crash resulting in death or bodily harm to another person. Further, if police cannot identify the driver with certainty, they may demand a breath sample from any person that they have reasonable grounds to suspect was
operating the vehicle.
According to MADD Canada, the proposed amendment to add random breath testing provisions to the Criminal Code will significantly reduce impaired driving in Canada, saving hundreds of lives and preventing thousands of injuries each year, MADD Canada estimates that random breath testing would reduce impairment-related crash deaths
and injuries by 20% in Canada annually. That’s approximately 200 lives saved and more than 12,000 injuries prevented each year.
Random breath testing has achieved significant and sustained reductions in impaired driving crash deaths in New Zealand, Australia and most European countries. Random breath testing – along with several other measures to reduce impaired driving – was
recommended by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in 2009 and was subsequently accepted in principle by the Government.