Modernizing the Transportation Provisions of the Criminal Code - Discussion Paper


On June 18, 2009, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights tabled its report "Ending Alcohol-Impaired Driving: a Common Approach" and made 10 recommendations with respect to impaired driving. The Government response tabled on October 19 stated:

The Government accepts the Committee's recommendations in principle. The Government notes that this area of the law has become excessively complex. The breath-testing provisions, for example, are now 40 years old, and they have been repeatedly amended in response to technological advances and court decisions. Considerable work has been done by federal, provincial and territorial officials on simplifying and modernizing the impaired driving provisions of the Criminal Code. The Government will consult on a priority basis with the provinces, territories, law enforcement, prosecutors and other stakeholders on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Standing Committee with a view to developing a comprehensive set of reforms.

The attached consultation paper outlines options and includes 20 questions to help frame your comments including:

  • Legislatively expressing the purposes of the transport offence legislation
  • Linking minimum fines for first impaired driving offenders to BAC
  • Random breath testing
  • Eliminating the "bolus drinking" defence and restricting the intervening drink defence
  • Placing limits on disclosure
  • Eliminating or limiting the right to counsel prior to an Approved Instrument test.

Responses to the specific consultation questions posed in this paper, as well as more general comments, are welcome until Friday April 30, 2010. Responses can be submitted via email to , or by mail to:

Impaired driving consultation
Criminal Law Policy Section
Department of Justice
East Memorial Building
284 Wellington
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K1A 0H8

We thank you in advance for your participation in this important consultation, and look forward to receiving your views.

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