Seeing those flashing lights in the rearview mirror could be a little different the next time you are being pulled over. 

The Canadian Government has passed legislation that will allow for officers to test for blood alcohol level as part of a regular traffic stop. The law will come into effect tomorrow, December 18th, 2018.

"When a driver is pulled over for another offense, such as speeding, the officer can request a breathe sample. Immediately roadside, immediately at the start of the traffic stop. If there is an indication that you have blown a warning or a fail, then an impaired investigation will begin based on what your result is," explained Corporal Rachel Pergunas.

According to Pergunas, other countries in the world have already passed this legislation. Australia, for example, has seen a 40 percent drop fatal impaired related collision in its first year being in place.

Still, some people have doubts about the new legislation, but Pergunas assures that not much is going to change for those who follow the law.

"It is not a trick. We are not trying to trick anybody. It is not going to change anything at all for people who are not driving under the influence. Even if you have had a beer with dinner, this isn't going to affect you at all. It is not illegal to have a beer with dinner, it is illegal to drive with more than 80 milligrams percent of alcohol in your blood," continued Pergunas. "What we are trying to catch is what we call seasoned alcoholics. They are extremely good at masking their symptoms of impairment."

The added breath sample is going to add about 30 seconds to a routine traffic stop. If the test is passed, then the reason in which you were stopped will be then be dealt with.

Pergunas adds that the public needs to understand that this test is not the end of the road for an impairment charge, and other steps will be taken.

"If by chance, you do blow a fail on one of these mandatory alcohol screening tests. The officer will then embark on a full impaired driving investigation, and you will be given the opportunity to provide a sample in the approved instruments that will give us a numerical reading. There is no worry that we are going to be judge and jury on the side of the road, and be giving you impaired driving convictions on the side of the road. It is not like that at all," added Pergunas.

 

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