Start of Anti-Drinking and Driving Groups in Canada

Topics: Blood alcohol content, Drunk driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Pages: 5 (1522 words) Published: April 9, 2014
MADD Canada
In the early 1980's provincial anti-drinking and driving groups started to appear in Canada. The people who started these groups were victims and survivors who wanted to inform and educate about the tragedies that were caused by drinking and driving. The people who started these groups include Sally Gribble (PRIDE in B.C.), Gladys Armstrong and Pat Baril (PAID in Alberta), Margaret Taylor (CAID in Manitoba), and PRIDE (People to Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) which is the organization in Ontario.

The PRIDE organization took the responsibility in initiating discussions with MADD U.S to become their own national organization in Canada. John Bates, who was with PRIDE from the beginning, as well as other members of PRIDE were successful with their discussions and negotiated with MADD U.S to become their own organization, known as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Canada. Due to the success, Mr. Bates was presented with the title of Founder by the National Board of Directors.

MADD Canada was then created in 1989 to form a national group of victims/survivors and concerned citizens to take action to stop impaired driving as well as to support victims of this violent crime.

This charitable organization is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this crime. Driving under the influence of alcohol or any drugs of that matter is a terrible crime that impacts our lives. In fact, each and every year thousands of Canadians are killed or injured due to impaired driving crashes.

In the past years, there has been many legal issues that MADD Canada believed needed to be reformed. Those including; the implementation of random breath testing, tougher sentencing for repeat offenders; and inquiries involving BAC limits.

MADD Canada wanted to in force the use of breath test for a way to narrow evidence available for defences against impaired driving, specifically the “Carter Defence’ and the ‘Last Drink Defence’. The Last Drink Defence is when the accused alleges that they were under 0.08 as they were stopped but they had a drink before the road so their is excessive amount of alcohol on their breath but it hasn’t yet fully absorbed in their stomach. The Carter Defence is the accused alleging that the breathalyzer reading is inaccurate due to the amount of alcohol ingested in the period of time as well as the accused’s size prior to the arrest; therefore creating a reasonable doubt. These are important measures because they close loopholes, ensuring and encouraging that offenders will address their underlying alcohol problems. MADD Canada’s advocacy group has been asking for these changes for 11 years and were relieved when their success impacted the defences to stay shelved in accordance with 2008 amendments to the Criminal Code. Montreal spokesperson for MADD Canada, Kramer, said that she was “consoled” that the high court upheld the amendment that said that now defendants only have to prove that the machine was not working properly or defective, without showing precisely how a malfunction resulted in the breathalyzer’s false reading.

Next, a law that MADD Canada believed needed to be reformed is tougher sentencing for repeat offenders. MADD Canada feels a strong concern about how Canada is dealing with individuals who repeatedly disobey the law and have no respect for the safety of others. MADD Canada believes that lengthy incarceration for repeat offenders is a solution to prevent future accidents. What MADD Canada did to take a stand and reform the law was that they continued their annual visit to the Members of Parliament in Ottawa in 2012 during National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. Representatives of MADD CAN met with 24 MPs representing all parties and most jurisdictions to discuss tougher sentences for repeat offender and it was said that the discussion was well received by MPs.

“Tougher sentences are often cited as a way to reduce impaired...
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