Charter challenge to mandatory alcohol screening puts random stops, provincial penalties under spotlight (National Post)

Canadian courts have consistently recognized that, with respect to (roadside breath) demands, a driver’s Charter-protected rights are suspended at roadside…The question has always been whether, based on the state of the law, the suspension of rights represents a reasonable limit in a free and democratic society.

Jennifer Teryn, Lawyer

“McLeod’s case will be yet another test of the provincial regulatory penalties that kick in immediately for a refused breath sample, before a court or anyone else has reviewed the case. The penalties aren’t criminal sanctions, but McLeod’s case shows they’re severe: licence suspended for 90 days, car impounded for 30 days, and fees that could top $2000.

Those penalties were levied despite zero documented evidence that McLeod was impaired — no odour, no bad driving, no empty bottles, no slurred speech. She says she was unable to provide the sample because of medical conditions including a lung condition and an implant in the roof of her mouth from cancer surgery.”

Brian Platt – National Post

Full article available on