Supreme Court rules on tough British Columbia impaired driving law

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OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed British Columbia's tough drunk-driving law, which imposes heavy fines, penalties and immediate roadside suspensions.

The high court has handed down a pair of judgments, a 6-1 decision and a unanimous 7-0 ruling, that uphold key portions of the law.

It ruled the province had the jurisdiction to enact the law in 2010 and that it did not violate the charter protection of the presumption of innocence.

However, a majority of the court said the law violated the charter prohibition against unlawful search and seizure.

In 2012, B.C. amended the law to deal with that issue, allowing drivers who failed a roadside breath test to ask for a second test and apply for a review of their driving prohibition.

Today's Supreme Court ruling deals only with law as it stood in 2010.


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