Support for impaired laws undeserved

Editor:

Re: Impaired driving rules working, July 26 editorial.

Your paper applauds the Motor Vehicle Act changes credited with reducing the road-death toll and the number of impaired-driving charges. Barry Penner, provincial attorney general, in a recent letter to the Vancouver Sun said mostly the same thing.

It’s too bad that neither your paper nor the AG states the whole truth.

That the number of impaired-driving charges has dropped has little to do with drinking to driving rates and everything to do with visibility… what is reported. Many of the “fail” Immediate Roadside Prohibitions could have been impaired-driving charges.

Unfortunately, the checks and balances that proper justice affords to keep innocent people free is lost. The so-called “review” of the IRP is a quintessential kangaroo court… with limited scope and biased “judges” employed by the very people who made these draconian laws. As a lawyer, I can tell you few if any, ever succeed.

So while you and the AG glibly tout the great success of this program, you each fail to account for the innocent people swept up by this travesty of Canadian law.

Of course, the editor of this paper and the AG of this province don’t look at the innocents caught by this intrusion into our Charter-promised freedoms, all they care about is saving dollars and generating revenue.

These laws are a violation of everything the makers of our highest law planned for a legal system like Canada’s. They exist in probable violation of B.C.’s constitutional right to make such laws.

In England in 1850, there were 150 capital offences. Countless innocent people were hung. Maybe the severity of the law deterred crime, but at a cost to innocent people sacrificed on the alter of expediency.

In the interest of saving court time (so says Penner) and reducing drinking and driving (probably an illusion) he and you turn B.C. into a Banana Republic. Shame on you, I say.

Whilst everyone would hope the problem of drinking and driving can be curbed, we shouldn’t achieve that by paying glib and blind lip service to a government program that deals with the problem at any cost, whether that be our fundamental freedoms, justice or integrity as a society.

Howard Smith, Surrey

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