Police will soon have an easier time testing for impaired drivers.
Starting on December 18, the RCMP will be able to take a breath sample of any driver lawfully stopped, even without suspicion the person may have alcohol in their system.
The changes come as a part of Bill C-46. The handheld approved screening devices are similar to breathalyzers used in the past, testing will be able to be completed with the driver in their own vehicle.
“Alberta police services are working together to implement the changes brought about by Bill C-46, including Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS),” said Chief Mark Neufeld, President of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police. “A large and credible international evidence base suggests MAS is one of the most effective road safety measures available and that it has resulted in significant and sustained reductions in impaired driving and related deaths and injuries.”
The handheld approved screening devices are similar to breathalyzers used in the past. MAS testing will be able to be completed with the driver in their own vehicle.
Currently, RCMP members must have reasonable suspicion before doing roadside impairment testing.
“These are short interactions that we need to have because Canadians require and deserve protection from all impaired drivers on the roads,” said Superintendent Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.
MAS tests only take a few minutes to complete and are currently used in more than 40 countries worldwide.
In Canada, impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death.