MADD and Criminal Defense Lawyers vs. Police and Lawmakers: Decriminalizing Drunk Driving

Here's a strange one... Up in Canada, drunk driving laws that suspend a motorist's driving privileges have been declared unlawful. (I am unclear on the reason why the current Canadian laws were stricken by the courts, but lawmakers have been forced to reevaluate their current laws.) The police and local lawmakers have responded by moving to decriminalize drunk driving. This is just incredible. Even more incredible? MADD and defense attorneys agree that this move is wrong!

Here is the gist of it: lawmakers propose to allow police officers unbridled discretion to suspend a person's drivers license without any criminal charges ever being filed. MADD opposes this because drunk drivers will not be criminally prosecuted. Criminal defense attorneys oppose it because motorists would essentially face punishment without ever having a day in court or the opportunity to challenge the evidence. 

What an utterly bizarre idea. This new proposal would make the cop both judge and jury. I cannot fathom how local lawmakers figure that this could possibly pass muster under any notion of due process.


NORTH BAY — A pair of Western Canadian provinces has changed their drunk driving laws to take the criminal element out of it, and that's something that may make its way into Ontario. North Bay Police Chief Shawn Devine says he's not surprised to see the western provinces make the move. “As far as ...

And yet, here is another article from the same newspaper that claims MADD is on board:


Drug recognition expert training enables officers to provide opinion evidence in court, but is “very difficult to get…and very expensive,” Keetch said, the training available only in Florida, and only two Sault police officers currently have that training. Police are currently looking at various devices to detect ...