Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving (OCCID) provides leadership and programs to eliminate impaired driving in Ontario and enables people and communities to share resources and information that will prevent injuries and save lives.
Criminal Code Amendments Target Impaired Drivers
OTTAWA, December 1, 1999 Today in the House of Commons, the Honourable Anne McLellan, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced two key changes to the Criminal Code that will step up the fight against impaired driving.
"Impaired driving claims too many victims in Canada," said Minister McLellan. "Laws need to be tough enough to stop people from even thinking of getting behind the wheel when they are intoxicated. Police must also have the legislative tools they need to get impaired drivers off the road."
Proposed amendments to the Criminal Code will:
"MADD Canada is very pleased that the Justice Minister has made important progress towards enacting legislation that makes it perfectly clear that impaired driving, whether alcohol or drug impaired, is absolutely intolerable," said Carolyn Swinson, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada. "We are dedicated to continue working with governments at all levels to do even more to combat this deadly crime."
The new maximum penalty for impaired driving causing death will equal the maximum penalty for manslaughter and for criminal negligence causing death. The amendment was first introduced in the House of Commons as Bill C-87 during the last session of Parliament, and received broad support. However, Bill C-87 expired on the Order Paper when Parliament was prorogued.
Todays bill also strengthens an existing Criminal Code provision that applies only in cases where police believe the driver is alcohol-impaired. Currently, police are allowed to apply for a warrant to obtain blood to test for the presence of alcohol where the driver is involved in a collision that caused injury or death, and is unconscious or unable to provide consent to the taking of a blood sample. This provision will be amended to include drivers who police believe are drug-impaired.
The amendments introduced today fulfil the Government of Canadas pledge to make all the specific Criminal Code changes recommended by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in the draft bill appended to its report, Toward Eliminating Impaired Driving. Most of the provisions in the Committees draft bill were enacted with Bill C-82, which came into force on July 1, 1999. Key provisions of that bill:
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