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An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (S.C. 2018, c. 21)

Assented to 2018-06-21

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

S.C. 2018, c. 21

Assented to 2018-06-21

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

SUMMARY

Part 1 amends the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with offences and procedures relating to drug-impaired driving. Among other things, the amendments

  • (a) enact new criminal offences for driving with a blood drug concentration that is equal to or higher than the permitted concentration;

  • (b) authorize the Governor in Council to establish blood drug concentrations; and

  • (c) authorize peace officers who suspect a driver has a drug in their body to demand that the driver provide a sample of a bodily substance for analysis by drug screening equipment that is approved by the Attorney General of Canada.

Part 2 repeals the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with offences and procedures relating to conveyances, including those provisions enacted by Part 1, and replaces them with provisions in a new Part of the Criminal Code that, among other things,

  • (a) re-enact and modernize offences and procedures relating to conveyances;

  • (b) authorize mandatory roadside screening for alcohol;

  • (c) establish the requirements to prove a person’s blood alcohol concentration; and

  • (d) increase certain maximum penalties and certain minimum fines.

Part 3 contains coordinating amendments and the coming into force provision.

Preamble

Whereas dangerous driving and impaired driving injure or kill thousands of people in Canada every year;

Whereas dangerous driving and impaired driving are unacceptable at all times and in all circumstances;

Whereas it is important to deter persons from driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs;

Whereas it is important that law enforcement officers be better equipped to detect instances of alcohol-impaired or drug-impaired driving and exercise investigative powers in a manner that is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

Whereas it is important to simplify the law relating to the proof of blood alcohol concentration;

Whereas it is important to protect the public from the dangers posed by consuming large quantities of alcohol immediately before driving;

Whereas it is important to deter persons from consuming alcohol or drugs after driving in circumstances where they have a reasonable expectation that they would be required to provide a sample of breath or blood;

Whereas it is important that federal and provincial laws work together to promote the safe operation of motor vehicles;

And whereas the Parliament of Canada is committed to adopting a precautionary approach in relation to driving and the consumption of drugs, and to deterring the commission of offences relating to the operation of conveyances, particularly dangerous driving and impaired driving;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

PART 1Offences Relating to Transportation — Drugs

R.S., c. C-46Amendments to the Criminal Code

 Section 253 of the Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

  • Marginal note:Operation while impaired — blood drug concentration

    (3) Subject to subsection (4), everyone commits an offence who has within two hours after ceasing to operate a motor vehicle or vessel or after ceasing to operate or to assist in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or after ceasing to have the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment

    • (a) a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood drug concentration for the drug that is prescribed by regulation;

    • (b) a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood drug concentration for the drug that is prescribed by regulation and that is less than the concentration prescribed for the purposes of paragraph (a); or

    • (c) a blood alcohol concentration and a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood alcohol concentration and the blood drug concentration for the drug that are prescribed by regulation for instances where alcohol and that drug are combined.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) No person commits an offence under subsection (3) if

    • (a) they consumed the drug or the alcohol or both after ceasing to operate a motor vehicle or vessel, or after ceasing to operate or assist in the operation of an aircraft or railway equipment or after ceasing to have the care or control of a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment; and

    • (b) after ceasing the activities described in paragraph (a), they had no reasonable expectation that they would be required to provide a sample of a bodily substance.

 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 253:

Marginal note:Regulations

253.1 The Governor in Council may make regulations

  • (a) prescribing the blood drug concentration for a drug for the purposes of paragraph 253(3)(a);

  • (b) prescribing the blood drug concentration for a drug for the purposes of paragraph 253(3)(b); and

  • (c) prescribing a blood alcohol concentration and a blood drug concentration for a drug for the purposes of paragraph 253(3)(c).

Marginal note:R.S., c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36

  •  (1) The definitions approved container, approved instrument and approved screening device in subsection 254(1) of the Act are replaced by the following:

    approved container

    approved container means a container of a kind that is approved by order of the Attorney General of Canada under paragraph 254.01(d); (contenant approuvé)

    approved instrument

    approved instrument means an instrument of a kind that is approved by order of the Attorney General of Canada under paragraph 254.01(c); (alcootest approuvé)

    approved screening device

    approved screening device means a device of a kind that is approved by order of the Attorney General of Canada under paragraph 254.01(a); (appareil de détection approuvé)

  • (2) Subsection 254(1) of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

    approved drug screening equipment

    approved drug screening equipment means equipment of a kind that is approved by order of the Attorney General of Canada under paragraph 254.01(b); (matériel de détection des drogues approuvé)

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 6, s. 19(3)

    (3) The portion of subsection 254(2) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Testing for presence of alcohol or a drug

      (2) If a peace officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has alcohol or a drug in their body and that the person has, within the preceding three hours, operated a motor vehicle or vessel, operated or assisted in the operation of an aircraft or railway equipment or had the care or control of a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment, the peace officer may, by demand, require the person to comply with the requirements of either or both of paragraphs (a) and (c), in the case of a drug, or with the requirements of either or both of paragraphs (a) and (b), in the case of alcohol:

  • (4) Subsection 254(2) of the Act is amended by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (a), by adding “and” at the end of paragraph (b) and by adding the following after paragraph (b):

    • (c) to forthwith provide a sample of a bodily substance that, in the peace officer’s opinion, is necessary to enable a proper analysis to be made by means of approved drug screening equipment and to accompany the peace officer for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 6, s. 19(3)

    (5) Subsection 254(3.1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Evaluation and samples

      (3.1) If a peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is committing, or at any time within the preceding three hours has committed, an offence under paragraph 253(1)(a) as a result of the consumption of a drug or of a combination of alcohol and a drug, or has committed an offence under subsection 253(3), the peace officer may, by demand made as soon as practicable, require the person

      • (a) to submit, as soon as practicable, to an evaluation conducted by an evaluating officer to determine whether the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by a drug or by a combination of alcohol and a drug, and to accompany the peace officer for that purpose; or

      • (b) to provide, as soon as practicable, the samples of blood that, in the opinion of the qualified medical practitioner or qualified technician taking the samples, are necessary to enable a proper analysis to be made to determine the person’s blood drug concentration, or the person’s blood drug concentration and blood alcohol concentration, as the case may be, and to accompany the peace officer for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 6, s. 19(3)

    (6) Subsection 254(3.3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Testing for presence of alcohol

      (3.3) If the evaluating officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that the person has alcohol in their body and if a demand was not made under subsection (3), the evaluating officer may, by demand made as soon as practicable, require the person to provide, as soon as practicable, a sample of breath that, in the evaluating officer’s opinion, will enable a proper analysis to be made by means of an approved instrument.

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 6, s. 19(3)

    (7) The portion of subsection 254(3.4) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Samples of bodily substances

      (3.4) If, on completion of the evaluation, the evaluating officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by a drug or by a combination of alcohol and a drug, the evaluating officer may, by demand made as soon as practicable, require the person to provide, as soon as practicable,

  • Marginal note:2008, c. 6, s. 19(3)

    (8) Subsection 254(4) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Admissibility of evaluating officer’s opinion

      (3.5) An evaluating officer’s opinion relating to the impairment, by a drug of a type that they identified, or by a combination of alcohol and that drug, of a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is admissible in evidence without qualifying the evaluating officer as an expert.

    • Marginal note:Presumption — drug

      (3.6) If the analysis of a sample provided under paragraph (3.4)(b) demonstrates that the person has a drug in their body that is of a type that the evaluating officer has identified as impairing the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, that drug — or, if the person has also consumed alcohol, the combination of alcohol and that drug — is presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to be the drug, or the combination of alcohol and that drug, that was present in the person’s body at the time when the person operated the motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment and, on proof of the person’s impairment, to have been the cause of that impairment.

    • Marginal note:Condition

      (4) Samples of blood may be taken from a person under subsection (3) or (3.4) only by a qualified medical practitioner, or a qualified technician, who is satisfied that taking the samples would not endanger the person’s life or health.

 
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