A Quebec organization for the moderate use of alcohol is urging the province to institute random roadside breathalyzer tests. Random tests would allow police to stop any driver at random and issue a roadside breathalyzer test, even if there is no reason to suspect that there is alchohol in the system. The current practice requires that police have reasonable suspicions of intoxification such as erratic driving or running a red light.
The Quebec report cites statistics from Ireland, New Zealand and Australia that demonstrates how the introduction of random testing dramatically reduced the number of alcohol related deaths on the road. Currently 43 nations use random breath testing, including France, Italy, Finland and Russia.
However, the Quebec Bar is opposed to random testing. The Bar argues that the practice violates basic civil liberties which insure security from unreasonable searches or seizure.
A study by Mothers Against Drunk Driving shows that 77 per cent of Canadians support random testing.
One Montreal citizen says, « Testing someone, or searching them or invading their property with no reason to suspect anything just makes me feel too much like being in a police state. »
Still, deaths from drunk driving on the roads is an epidemic. Surely any intitiative that will reduce this carnage should be explored.
Should we have random breathalyzer tests?
What do you think?