Supreme Court of Canada would okay random breath testing: expert

An RCMP Constable holds a breathalyzer test in Surrey, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2010 photo.(Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

By Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press, May 18, 2017 

OTTAWA — The foremost constitutional authority in Canada once argued that random breath testing — similar to what the Liberals proposed to crack down on impaired driving — would infringe Charter rights, but the benefit to public safety would be so strong that it would still be upheld in court.

Toronto-based lawyer Peter Hogg concluded nearly seven years ago that the ability of police to demand a breath sample from motorists at random, even without reasonable suspicion they drank alcohol before getting behind the wheel, would be a reasonable limit on constitutional rights and freedoms.

“I am confident that a constitutional challenge would be unsuccessful,” Hogg wrote in August 2010 after MADD Canada asked him to weigh in.