Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fed Gov't News

Crime of the Century

Strahl applauds stiffer penalties for drinking drivers, but no word on distracted drivers

By Robert Pearsall, PA to MP Mark Strahl


ark Strahl MP for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon is applauding legislation introduced by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice that will crack down on impaired driving by modernizing the Criminal Code provisions related to transportation offences.

"Impaired driving is a serious crime that kills and injures thousands of Canadians every year. This bill would make it easier for police to investigate and easier for the Crown to prosecute," said Strahl.

The Dangerous and Impaired Driving Act would limit the use of technical defences and tighten disclosure rules related to alcohol impaired driving that have effectively clogged up the courts.


The bill will:

simplify proof of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and tightening disclosure rules regarding breath testing;
eliminate the 'bolus drinking' defence where the driver claims that the BAC over 80 at the time of testing was caused by heavy drinking just before driving so the alcohol was still being absorbed when stopped and their BAC at the time of driving was under 80; and
strictly limit the 'intervening drink' defence where the driver claims the BAC over 80 was caused by drinking after driving.

The bill would also harmonize and strengthen penalties for all transportation related offences, including increased penalties for repeat offenders, such as:

making all transportation offences prior offences for one another with the effect of increasing penalties for repeat offenders;
doubling maximum penalties for offences without bodily harm or death on indictment from five years to 10 years imprisonment and on summary conviction from 18 months imprisonment to two years less a day;
making maximum penalties for all offences causing bodily harm 14 years imprisonment and increasing mandatory minimum penalties for indictable offences from a $1,000 fine for to 30 days imprisonment on summary conviction and 120 days on indictment; and
increasing mandatory minimum penalties for impaired driving and refusal offences causing death from a $1,000 fine to 6 years in prison.

The Dangerous and Impaired Driving Act is the result of extensive work with various stakeholders and reflects the Federal-Provincial-Territorial consensus about how transportation offence legislation can be improved to make our streets safer.



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