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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 230150 Find in a Library
Title: Alcohol and Driving: The Development of Law Enforcement Countermeasures in Canada
Journal: Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal  Volume:42  Issue:4  Dated:December 2009  Pages:237-251
Author(s): Douglas M. Lucas
Date Published: December 2009
Page Count: 15
Type: Historical Overview; Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This article reviews the history of Canada's development of countermeasures for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
Abstract: In 1969, the Canadian Parliament took two significant steps against DUI by adopting a “per se” law making it an offense to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) greater than 80 mg of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood and also making it an offense to refuse to provide a breath sample on demand. Since these 1969 provisions, addition legislative changes have been made to deal with specific DUI-related issues. In 1985, legislation was enacted to address the taking of blood samples when breath sampling is impractical or impossible. In 2008, the so-called "two beer" defense was significantly impeded by new limitations placed on the "evidence to the contrary" provision. The impact of this provision is still being assessed. New defenses for DUI then emerged based on attacks on the breath-test instrument itself and its manner of operation. Making DUI legislation part of the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) resulted in making the basic legislation against DUI uniform across the country, and it makes the implications for violators very serious. Because the consequences for a convicted driver can be so serious, it is essential that the investigative process, including the breath test, be conducted according to the highest standards. This means that all investigative steps should be properly performed at the police station, not at the roadside or back of a police vehicle. In fact the practice of transporting an arrested driver to a police station for testing may be one of the more significant deterrents for potential offenders. Although existing legislation has been important in reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries from DUI, accidents caused by DUI remain unacceptably high in Canada. 14 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Alcoholism detection; Crime specific countermeasures; Crime specific law reform; Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Foreign criminal codes; Foreign laws; Traffic laws
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