Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parliamentary Committee Report on Alcohol-Impaired Driving

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Government Publications includes the June 2009 report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights entitled Ending Alcohol-Impaired Driving: A Common Approach.

According to the Committee:
"Witnesses who appeared before the Committee made it clear that impaired driving remains the number one criminal cause of death in Canada. The Canadian Police Association indicated that, despite our collective best efforts and intentions, it is apparent that the problem of impaired driving is worsening in Canada and we are losing ground in our efforts to eliminate the problem. Mothers Against Drunk Driving stated that, since 1999, the progress in Canada on impaired driving has stalled."
In the report, the Committee tackled the following questions:
  • the advisability of lowering the criminal Blood Alcohol Concentration limits;
  • innovative approaches in use in other countries, such as Randomised BreathTesting;
  • the implications of advances in technology to enforce the laws; and
  • the Criminal Code sanctions for impaired driving and how they interrelate with provincial licensing measures.
Recommendations include:
  • the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level in the Criminal Code of eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood should be maintained;
  • provinces and territories should be encouraged to enhance their efforts in intervening at BACs lower than the Criminal Code level;
  • tougher sanctions should be introduced for repeat impaired drivers;
  • random roadside breath testing should be put in place;
  • the use of alcohol ignition interlock devices should be encouraged and the Alcohol Test Committee of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science should be authorised to approve
    alcohol ignition interlock systems for use in provincial and territorial programs;
  • provinces should be encouraged to coordinate provincial legal drinking ages to reduce the practice of crossborder drinking and driving
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of book and serial titles which have been released during the previous week by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:57 pm


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