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cookyy2k

Drunk driving to be largely decriminalized in Alberta in 2018

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cookyy2k

Changes are coming to the way drunk drivers are policed and prosecuted in Alberta with the provincial government set to issue a directive to police that will largely decriminalize impaired driving, CBC News has learned. 

 

Full story

 

Seems like a very, very silly idea pursued in the name of political correctness.

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MerseyLLB
54 minutes ago, cookyy2k said:

Changes are coming to the way drunk drivers are policed and prosecuted in Alberta with the provincial government set to issue a directive to police that will largely decriminalize impaired driving, CBC News has learned. 

 

Full story

 

Seems like a very, very silly idea pursued in the name of political correctness.

If you read it the law is quite different over there.

Over there if you are charged with drink drive you are suspended from driving pre-trial.

This is more potent than the situation in the UK where you can drive until a court imposes a sanction.

The article is a bit of a mistruth - drink driving isn't being decriminalised. They are separating the suspension of driving licences from the criminal justice process.

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Zulu 22

Quote "The changes follow an Alberta Court of Appeal decision in May that struck down existing drunk driving laws. The province's top court found tying the suspension of a driver's licence to the outcome of their court case was unconstitutional."

I would totally agree with that finding as you are Innocent until proven guilty.

However the Quote "Officers will be given wide discretion whether to criminally charge those who blow over the legal limit. But, for the most part, first time offenders will see roadside administrative sanctions rather than face criminal charges according to CBC sources." flies in the face of common sense and safety. Drink Driving is responsible for a massive number of road fatalities, and this should never be forgotten. Discretion whether to criminally charge for those who blow over the limit. I would rather see the offence as having any alcohol in the system as an offence but, would be the first to admit that this would be completely unenforceable. 

However we are talking of different country's laws and procedure so it is difficult to make any firm decisions 

Edited by Zulu 22

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MerseyLLB

But we do the same by not prosecuting people who blow 39 or under at the police station.

Logically, we could save time by using some other type of measure for the lowest level of drink driver as when I used to have the breath box that gave you the actual roadside reading id say probably 1 or 2 in 10 were between 35 and 40 so I knew by the time we got to the station they would be NFAed.

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stewie_griffin

I've charged people with impaired (drunk) driving in both Alberta and the UK. The rules are basically the same: you can't drive drunk.

However, the big difference is that in Canada we have the 'Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms' which protects everyone who gets arrested and charged with a criminal offence. On the face of it, this is no bad thing. However, years of technical 'charter arguments', and the consequent case law revolving around police breaching the 'charter rights' of those arrested, have made impaired driving investigations horrendously complex and the trials more or less unwinnable. Because of the complexity of the investigations, we have a whole department dealing with the issue and fully 40% of all the court time at our courthouse is devoted to impaired driving. Also worth remembering is there are many defence lawyers whose entire business model is based on complex impaired driving laws.

On 1st July cannabis will be legal in Canada and we still have no legal limit and no effective legal means of testing if drivers are over the limit. So we have a serious problem.

As a general rule, arresting and charging people with criminal offences in Alberta is around 80-90% easier than in the UK. The one exception to this is impaired driving which is easily 100% more complex than in the UK.

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