Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jackboot Justice

I'm seeing red:

Canadians who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs will face tougher consequences and will no longer be able to refuse roadside drug tests when new laws kick-in next week.

As of July 2, police officers will be able to require drivers to submit to a roadside sobriety test. As well, they can take drivers they suspect of being on drugs to a hospital for either a blood, saliva or urine test.

"More and more often individuals are refusing to give those samples and so now finally we are changing the law in this country that you will be compelled or you will be charged and I think that's a reasonable response to the problem," Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Friday.
Impaired drivers claim many innocent lives, it is true, but it is also true that someone operating a motor vehicle after smoking a joint, especially an hour or two later, is likely much less impaired than someone on certain types of prescribed medications, or simply a driver suffering severe sleep deprivation. Is there a measure for the appropriate amount of sleep required before firing up the ignition? For that matter, traces of drug consumption can stay in the body for days, and sometimes even weeks afterwards. If I smoke a joint on Friday, will I be charged with impaired driving on Saturday night after getting snagged by a *RIDE* program on a drug and alcohol free night just because I look a little dopey and refuse to give up my body fluids to the police?
Representatives from MADD said the new law is a victory for the organization, because impaired driving is the number one criminal cause of death in Canada.

"Those people have committed a criminal act by driving impaired, whether it's by drugs or alcohol and as far as I'm concerned they've lost their rights," said MADD Canada president Margaret Miller.
Guilty until proven innocent, but maybe just guilty. It's just like the Human Rights Commissions: The process is only the beginning of the punishment.

Cross posted at Dust My Broom and Mitchieville because it's Saturday night and I stayed home.


NIAC said...

I very much agree with your sentiments, Lisa.

There is that fine, dirty line between privacy and guilty, and although I believe that if you have nothing to hide, do not fear DNA collection, fingerprinting, and subjection to fluid/tissue/breath analysis. However, this site was created because the people who have the benevolent ideas are often not trustworthy or excuse themselves from responsiblity when that information is misused.

One of the law's new painful bits is that you are not able to refuse any tests.

"Impaired Driving" has become synonymous with "drunk driving", and yet, driving while tired, knowingly driving a vehicle that isn't safe, overloading, disregard for speed limits, being upset, being ill, having something in your eye, having a cast on your arm ... these are all "impairments" when it comes to driving. Why is it that killing someone with a 0.09 blood alcohol saturation is worse that someone who has road rage or fell asleep? Someone died.

Bring constant, random drug testing to the people who have to enforce these laws, see how well received that is. ;)

Blazing Cat Fur said...

While we slept....our country was stolen from under our pillows