Letter: DUI law needs random breath testing
To the editor:
Re: Paul Hergott’s column: Cops May Not be In Driver’s Seat to Act on Probable Grounds Suspicion, Jan. 9 Capital News.
I read with interest Paul Hergott’s column in the January 9, 2014 edition of your paper. Unfortunately, Paul has not read the law wrong and it is true that we need to call out our lawmakers to fix the glaring problem that our law enforcement officers cannot test drivers at random for being impaired behind the wheel.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada has been working at bringing “random breath testing” to Canada for a number of years now. Random breath testing is a roadside breath screening test to detect impaired drivers. It is used mainly at stationary check stops where every passing driver is required to stop and give a breath sample. Drivers remain in their cars, and the process is routine, quick and causes minimal delays for sober drivers.
In New Zealand, Australia and most European countries, random breath testing has proven to be successful in reducing overall crashes and fatalities.
MADD Canada estimates that random breath testing would reduce impairment-related crash deaths and injuries by 20 per cent in Canada annually. That’s approximately 200 lives saved and more than 12,000 injuries prevented each year.
MADD Canada is making progress in this area with a private members bill finally being introduced to Parliament by the NDP this past November.
We thank Paul for championing random breath screening, and for his ongoing support in the cause against impaired driving.
We encourage all concerned citizens to join Paul and MADD Canada in this cause by telling our local Member of Parliament, Ron Cannan, that he should strongly support this bill.
Carol Fazekas, president,
Central Okanagan chapter,
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada