Canadian PM to amend Criminal Code, drugged drivers to be charged

Friday, November 10, 2006

Stephen Harper, along with MADD Canada, has proposed to amend the Criminal Code to make driving while under the influence of drugs as unacceptable as drunk driving.

Harper was at a news conference in Kitchener today during the 19th annual Project Red Ribbon campaign, sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

"Just as a drunk driver does, a drug-impaired driver presents a danger to himself and others," Harper said. "We can act to prevent more such incidents from occurring."

The PM also spoke of his personal connection to Tory Senator Marjorie LeBreton, who lost her daughter and grandson to an impaired driver 10 years ago. The family of David Ryder, one of five teens who were killed near Ottawa in a multi-car crash caused by a driver high on marijuana in 1999, accompanied Harper at the conference today.

Police will be able to determine what drug a driver may have consumed. When police find a drugged driver, they will go to a police station and bring the driver to a specially trained police officer that can determine what drugs they were on.

According to MADD, the problem has been eliminated in the United States with the introduction of a series of tests that looks for families of drugs.

Harper with MADD Canada tied a red ribbon on the aerial of a vehicle as part of MADD's annual campaign targeting impaired driving during the holiday season. The bill will be proposed next week in the House of Commons.