Being required to ‘prove a negative’ perhaps defines one of the fundamental roots of injustice (to say nothing of irrationality), and yet, that is what Canada’s latest round of ‘drunk driving’ laws (under Canada’s Bill C-46) actually does.
Under the new ‘drunk driving’ laws, those caught over the ‘legal limit’ any time within two hours after having last driven a motor vehicle, can now be required to ‘prove’ their sobriety when they last drove. Being over the legal alcohol limit any time within two hours after having last driven is now considered an impaired driving offense, even though not driving at the time.
And when a sober Mississauga driver returned what was deemed to be an ‘excessive’ number of bottles for recycling at his Beer Store, he found himself forced to take a breathalyzer to prove his sobriety.
Given an absence of ‘probable cause’ and the requirement of reverse onus, in their assessment of this situation Danielle and Robert entertain the possibility of an encroaching ‘police state.’
The precedent for arbitrary detention was already established in Canada, allowing for random alcohol checks conducted under the ‘Ride Program.’ Even when the Ride Program was first introduced, many were already warning of a pending ‘police state,’ though the legislation was justified by the courts in a narrow decision that argued ‘public security and safety.’
Already on shaky grounds, that argument would be a long stretch if applied to the current legal dilemma. Many legal experts are already predicting that it will not stand a test in court. Let’s hope so. Because when the law requires citizens to ‘prove a negative,’ there’s simply no way that such a law can ever be Just or Right.