Atlantic Canada — If the country’s new laws surrounding impaired driving pass, police could be showing up at your door at any time to rifle through your possessions and make a judgement call as to whether you may have been driving under the influence.
Under the proposed legislation, if police know you to own or operate a vehicle, they will be allowed to enter your dwelling without notice and assess for themselves if you’re liable to have been a drunk driver in the past, to be one in the present, or to become one in the future.
“I think we as Canadians can all agree that the underlying problem with law enforcement is that police just do not have enough power — they need more control over citizens in order to do their jobs effectively,” proclaimed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “If we let individuals’ ‘rights’ and ‘freedoms’ interfere with justice, we’re no better than Americans.
“Now, obviously taking saliva swabs is a huge invasion of privacy, so we’re going to just let cops sort of, you know, eyeball the situation,” said Trudeau. “I’m confident that our morally upright Canadian officers will avoid abusing their newfound authority unless they deem it absolutely necessary.”
A New Brunswick-based RCMP officer gave our reporter more details.
“If we have reason to believe you’ve both driven and had a drink in the last week, we can go snooping around your house for indications that you’re a boozer,” said Const. Jim McCready of Fredericton. “So if you operate a vehicle and you also own a wine cellar or enjoy rum-raisin ice cream, you’ll likely get a DUI.”
Though the law has not yet become official, cops such as McCready are so eager to enforce it that they’ve already searched several homes.
“I was downin’ a couple beers at the Snooty Fox and noticed a guy who’d been eating supper get up and leave. I followed him and ran his plates,” said McCready. “Well, turns out he was headed to a party. I went in and searched the place. You’ll never guess what I found! A case of Alpine in the fridge, a bottle of Grey Goose in the freezer, and some Listerine that contained alcohol in the bathroom.
“No, I can’t know for sure whether this man was drinking and driving, but I do have a strong hunch he’s probably the type of guy who would… he just has that look… it’s safe to say he should be fined or even jailed.”
McCready said there are several more subtle but equally damning clues he’ll be watching for.
“If I walk in to your bedroom at 4 a.m. and you have bloodshot eyes, to me that’s ‘reasonable suspicion’ of past or future impaired driving. Or if you’ve got a bunch of empties you haven’t bothered to recycle yet. Or if there are Domino’s boxes lying around — no one eats that crap unless they’re drunk or hungover.”
Many have protested the proposed law, saying it’s inherently wrong to let police enter a private residence without a warrant and decide based on limited evidence whether citizens are criminals.
“To these people I say, you’d let your friends take a peek at your liquor cabinet, so why not a friendly police officer? And don’t worry… if all else fails, I’ll just go with my gut,” McCready added, patting his ample belly. “It’s never steered me wrong before.”