MADD support random breath testing

October 8, 2010 is when we saw an article by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organization which advocates random breath testing. This follows in the wake of B.C. amending its limit to fining and impounding vehicles at a .05 level.

The article is reprinted herewith:

Reducing Impaired Driving In Canada - Consider the Facts about Random Breath Testing

Impaired driving is a serious and persistent problem in Canada. Barely a day goes by when news reports do not contain a story on impaired driving. Sometimes the impaired driver is taken off the road and charged before something terrible occurs. Sadly, in other instances, the reports contain the tragic news that yet another person has been killed or injured by an impaired driver.

Every year, impaired driving claims more than 1,200 lives and causes some 73,000 injuries.

Canada has an opportunity right now to introduce a new anti-impaired driving measure which will save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of injuries each year.

Random breath testing is a roadside breath screening test to detect impaired drivers. It is used mainly at stationary checkstops where every passing driver is required to stop and give a breath sample. Drivers remain in their cars, and the process is routine, quick and causes minimal delays for sober drivers.

Random breath testing is widely acknowledged as one of the most effective means of deterring impaired driving. It has been adopted in New Zealand, Australia and most European countries, and has helped to reduce overall road crashes and fatalities.

Canada needs random breath testing to deter those individuals who continue to put others at risk by driving impaired.

Existing breath screening laws do not serve as a meaningful deterrent to impaired driving. As the law stands now, police can only demand a roadside breath sample if they have reasonable grounds to suspect the driver has been drinking. They must rely on behavioural clues and observations. The problem is, however, that people not always exhibit obvious signs of intoxication, particularly those who routinely drink and drive. As a result, the majority of drinking drivers go undetected at sobriety checkpoints. In fact, data indicates a person would have to drive impaired, on average, once a week, every week, for more than 3 years before being charged with impaired driving offence, and for more than 6 years before being convicted.

It is time to bring this important anti-impaired driving measure to Canada so that we can reduce the impairment-related deaths and injuries occurring on our roads.

How You Can Help Bring Random Breath Testing to Canada

MADD Canada is calling on the Government of Canada to introduce random breath testing.

You can support the call for random breath testing in Canada!

Contact your Member of Parliament. Encourage him or her to raise the issue with colleagues in Parliament and to ask Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to introduce random breath testing legislation.

You can write your own letter, or adapt this template letter.

Check out the Parliament of Canada web site to look up your MP.

If you’re mailing your letter, you can use the Parliament address in the template letter. And remember, no postage is required when mailing an MP at their Parliament address.

If you prefer to email you letter, you can look up your MP’s email address at the same Parliament of Canada page.

This important anti-impaired driving measure will save lives and prevent injuries by reducing impaired driving. Make your voice heard!