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Canada considers random breath test law

Oct. 5, 2009 at 6:01 PM

OTTAWA, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The Canadian government is considering a major change to its 40-year-old breathalyzer law, allowing random tests, Mothers Against Drunk Driving said.

Under current law police may only administer a test if they suspect a driver has been drinking, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

A House of Commons justice committee recommended the change in June. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said he is considering adopting that recommendation. We was speaking at a MADD meeting.

A number of countries in Europe have a random drug testing law.

The Commons parliamentary committee argued the new law would be an effective deterrent.

MADD chief executive Andrew Murie said countries that have implemented the random testing law have seen a drop in drunk driving fatalities.

However, civil libertarians see it as a violation of a citizens rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

"It has no real place in a democratic society," said Richard Rosenberg of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. "Giving police power to act on a whim is not something we want in an open democratic society."

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