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Matt Maurer posts "Canadian Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act One Step Closer to Law"

Feb 14, 2017

Canadian Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act One Step Closer to Law

Originally published on LinkedIn by litigator Matt Maurer on February 10, 2017.

The Canadian government took another step this week towards permitting the use of roadside screening devices to detect drugs in impaired drivers.

Senate Bill S-230, which was first introduced in the Canadian Senate in October, 2016 before ultimately being passed by the Senate just before Christmas, was put through its First Reading in the House of Commons on February 9, 2017.

The Criminal Code, as presently constituted, does not allow peace officers to use roadside screening devices to detect the presence of drugs in impaired drivers. Bill S-230, also known as the Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act (“DIDDA”) would amend the Criminal Code to allow the use of such devices.

While many could argue that legislation such as DIDDA is long overdue, others would point out that the science necessary to give the legislation teeth did not exist until recently. In any event, given the Federal Government’s commitment to tabling legislation to legalize recreational use of cannabis this Spring, seeing DIDDA make its way through the legislative process is a welcome sign.

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