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New Drug-Driving Legislation

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posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 01:30 PM
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My hats off to the government on this one



Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled new legislation on Friday that will target drivers who get behind the wheel while stoned on drugs.

"The legislation will among other things provide police with more tools to detect drug-impaired driving, increase penalties for drug-impaired driving, strengthen presumptions of breath and blood tests and promote awareness about drug-impaired driving with partners like (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)Canada," Harper said at a press conference.

"Our goal will be to replicate many of the successful efforts over the past few years that have educated about the dangers of drunk driving."

The legislation aims to make drug-impaired driving as socially unacceptable as drunk-driving has become, Harper said.

Though the legislation will move to "strengthen presumptions" of breath and blood tests, there is currently no appropriate test in Canada to test for drug impairment.

"There are technological challenges in terms of testing for certain kinds of drugs," Harper conceded.

"But there are certain tests available and there are ways to strengthen the legislation to get convictions in clear cases" of driving under the influence of drugs, he said.


Link to Article


Anyone convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol carries a social stigma these days. This is an act that is seriously frowned upon, with no excuse. Their is absolutely no excuse for it and I believe we have finally reached our goal. However, we have been ignorant to another problem. People who drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Many are guilty of smoking a doobie and jumping behind the wheel, hell others are busy defending it. They say how it enhances their senses and makes them a better driver. Right, we'll just ignore the blatant affects it has on our perception. Anyone who defends this, is a part of the problem in my opinion.

But the more I thought of it, I began to wonder if it would pose a problem. Many of us are prescribed certain medications that do have an affect on us. We share a trust that, we the individual, can make an informed decision on whether or not we are capable of operating a vehicle. Would people that own a legal prescription be persecuted for driving with a slight buzz from their meds? Better yet, should they be persecuted?

Then I read this sentence from the article above:



"But there are certain tests available and there are ways to strengthen the legislation to get convictions in clear cases" of driving under the influence of drugs, he said.


Clearer cases are emphasized in this legislation I believe. And marijuana seems to be the drug of choice they are focusing on. I would expect to see some drastic figures when this enforcement is established. I come from a relatively small town, and I see this infraction on a regular basis.

Problem is, our society does not frown upon on it. Years ago drinking and driving was an acceptable behaviour. Organizations like MADD have changed our perception and we should be thankful for it. However our narrow mindedness needs some alteration. Driving under the influence needs to include under the influence of drugs. This is something we have ignored for too long.

What are your opinions on the matter? Good or bad? Has it been long overdue?




posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 09:44 PM
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If they have some new technique they can use to determine these things, great. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is just plain stupid. People get killed because of this.

I have something to add about prescription drugs. Years ago, I had to take some meds and I thought I was just fine on them - until the day when I nearly ran a lady over in a crosswalk. She had to run to avoid me and probably thought I was drunk.

People often don't know that their meds are affecting their perception until it's too late.



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 09:47 PM
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Originally posted by Duzey
People often don't know that their meds are affecting their perception until it's too late.


So do you feel the law should work hand in hand with doctors in revoking the individual's license while under the influence of these med's?

I have never had to take any potent medication, so the affects of these drugs are not something I am familiar with. But I can speak from experience, that we certainly are not capable of making these informed decisions that I speak of. Optimistic until the end though.



[edit on 11-11-2006 by chissler]



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 10:19 PM
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I'm not sure how to handle the prescription meds problem, that's a tough one. They affect everyone differently.

I wouldn't want anyone to have their licence revoked if they didn't have any problems with meds, but how do you know if there are issues until it's too late?

These are the kind of issues that make my head hurt. Do we restrict someone's rights because they might have a problem (which doesn't sit well with me) or do we wait until the damage has been caused and they've proven there is a problem (which also doesn't sit well with me)?

This fence I'm sitting on is very uncomfortable.



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 10:31 PM
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or do we wait until the damage has been caused and they've proven there is a problem

Thats a definite no, no.


I'm not sure how we could handle prescription drugs either except to just stop selling them. If they absolutley (sp?) have to have those kind of meds then I would suggest a temporary license suspension. If you perscribe those drugs to one person, they are potentially effecting the lives of other people on the road. Why put more lives at stake?
Crisis



posted on Nov, 11 2006 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by Duzey
I wouldn't want anyone to have their licence revoked if they didn't have any problems with meds, but how do you know if there are issues until it's too late?


Flip a coin? Optimism or Pessimism? I wish it were that easy.


Originally posted by Duzey
This fence I'm sitting on is very uncomfortable.


Normally the fence has a cozy seat where we can decipher the information. I agree that this fence is quite uncomfortable. Its more of an ethical decision. Is it important to invoke the rights of individuals on Meds? Or more important to think of the safety of others?

Most meds do have a strong affect on our decision making. I would agree with some legislation that would prohibit operating a motor vehicle for so many hours after the consumption of the med. This way they withhold the right to operate the vehicle, while the safety of others is in check. Is it perfect? No, far from it actually. But it can keep both parties happy.

Get Steve on the line, we'll jot this down.



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