Canada's Federal Government has vowed that it will protect the lives of Canadians on the road and stiffer penalties will be enforced to deter drunk drivers from hitting, maiming and killing people on road.

Announcing the introduction of the “Dangerous and Impaired Driving Act" as a comprehensive legislation, Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice said the new law would cover all transportation related offences in the criminal code. Drivers impaired by drugs have been a huge risk to Canadians and the upcoming report from the Drugs and Driving Committee of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science is expected to trigger a wider debate on the matter.

Stiffer Penalties

The hard provisions in the new bill has a mandatory 6-year minimum sentence for all impaired drivers, who cause death. “It's a basic premise of law that Canadians should feel safe and those that break the law should be punished for doing so," MacKay said at a press conference at Ottawa police headquarters. The law doubles the maximum penalties for impaired driving from 5 to 10 years behind bars, while the maximum penalty for impaired driving causing bodily harm will go up to 14 years of imprisonment.


The proposed changes are a reflection of the Government's commitment announced in 2013 that Canada will not spare law breakers and they will be punished for actions and the prison time will made to match the severity of crimes committed.

Accordingly, the Dangerous and Impaired Driving Act would limit the use of technical defences. At the same time, it tightens disclosure rules related to alcohol impaired driving while easing procedures on proof of blood alcohol concentration with disclosure rules in breath testing made tighter.  

Election Stunt

The bill has evoked mixed reactions. The bill lives up to the promise as it seeks to nix all ridiculous excuses used by drunk drivers and has doubled the quantum of maximum sentences. Certainly, it is bold, badly needed and all Canadians will cherish it becoming a law. But the sad part is that it will never become a law under MacKay’s watch, according to analysts.

“It won’t even go through, which is disappointing. This government has certainly been slow when it comes to protecting the citizens of Canada,” said Karen Harrison, who lost her brother to a drunk driver. She said this seems more like an election promise than anything and they will table this, knowing fully well that it cannot go through. With Parliament rising soon and not to return before the federal election in October, MacKay also planning to retire from politics, there is zero chance of the legislation making its way, before the Conservative government shuts down.

Source: International Business Times


Last updated on: 2015-06-22 | Link to this post