Stiffer impaired driving laws may infringe Charter of Rights - Came into effect a week ago

Denise Wong Sep 26, 2010 11:43:01 AM

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Do the new drinking and driving laws in B.C. violate the Charter of Rights? News1130's Legal Analyst says the answer may be 'yes' - by taking away your right to a fair trial.

The new rules say anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 - 0.08 will automatically get a three-day driving ban. However, Michael Shapray says that gives police all the power to hand down a judgment and leaves little to no due process.

He says even the review process is unfair. "The adjudicators who hear the reviews work for the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles who administers driving prohibitions. They are not like judges in a court."

Shapray is expecting to see a challenge to the new legislation, saying this is the first time driving penalties have encroached upon criminal law.