Editorial: New tougher impaired rules bring concerns

The new rules are likely to be tested in courts

New impaired driving laws that came into force this week should clamp down further on people driving after holiday drinking.

But they also bring concerns.

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Although tough consequence to prevent impaired driving have been in place for several years, new fines are higher and it’s easier for police to stop people and get a breathalyzer sample.

The new stronger laws are now similar to those in other countries. They give police officers the authority to demand a breathalyzer test from any driver they lawfully stop. Previously, they needed a suspicion of impairment to require the test, and any driver who refuses to take the test can be charged.

That's where the worry lies, in the lack of probable cause, and these new rules will doubtlessly, and justifiably, be tested in the courts.

Still, they should encourage people use designated drivers, non-profit driving services such as Operation Red Nose, cabs, transit or other arrangements to get safely home.

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