Subscribe To The Newsletter

Follow Us

‘There is no bias in this,’ Ontario Provincial Police defend rollout of mandatory alcohol screening 

(Courtesy: Ontario Provincial Police/Instagram, @OPP_HSD/X) 

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Highway Safety Division is cracking down on impaired drivers, but some people believe it violates their rights.

On Thursday, the OPP posted on X warning drivers that Mandatory Alcohol Screen (MAS) tests will now be conducted by OPP officers during every routine traffic stop. .

According to the force, impaired driving collisions and charges are up this year by nearly 30 per cent, compared to the previous five-year average.

The Brandon Gonez Show contacted OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt and he further explained why MAS tests will be beneficial.

 “Mandatory alcohol screening came into law back in 2018. And this is one more tool that officers can use here in the highway safety division right now to assist in keeping our roads safe.”

He also said the OPP hope  people will realize what their responsibility is and to make better decisions when getting behind a wheel, especially after consuming alcohol. 

“We know this is absolutely preventable and drivers need to understand their responsibility when it comes to having that privilege of having the ability to drive on our highways,” he added.

Schmidt said there were 11,000 impaired driving charges last year, marking an  over  50 per cent increase in crashes in the GTA than the previous five-year average.He also said with this new mandate it gives the opportunity for officers to investigate routine traffic stops by making sure drivers are sober.

In addition, he said if drivers refuse to comply there are consequences. 

“It is a criminal offence. It is a criminal authorization that legislation is given officers and if drivers choose not to provide a sample after they’ve been given that demand, they could be charged with refusal, which comes with a criminal record, an automatic 90-day licence suspension and a seven-day vehicle impound,” he said.

People online have shared their concerns and some people believe it violates their human rights. 

“The ever increasing infringement on our rights. Inch by inch,” one X user said.

“Nonesense. This will lead to unnecessary harassment. Are cops so incompetent they need to assume every driver might be drunk?” another user said.

Furthermore, Schmidt said the OPP is conducting this operation on everyone and it’s not targeting any specific driver, group or community.

“There is no bias in this. Everyone is being tested. And it’s rolling out here in the highway division, which is in the GTA, where we’ve seen the highest numbers and that is something that we want drivers to remember their responsibility to drive safely responsibly. If you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Stories

On Key

Related Posts