Pubdate: Tue, 19 Dec 2006
Source: Southern Gazette, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2006 Transcontinental Media
Author: Averill Baker


If you drive a car, and you are on medication, or if you take 
prescription drugs or illegal drugs, you may get time in a bottle.

The amount of time you get - jail time that is - will depend upon 
what you put in the bottle.

With great fanfare Prime Minister Harper announced last week a new 
law aimed at stopping drug impaired drivers. The last Liberal 
government almost got one passed before the last election, but this 
time Prime Minister says he is going to get this one passed.

This new bill however is not like the last one - when this passes you 
will be on camera with mandatory fines and jail. Just like in the U.S.

Those suspected of being on drugs (prescription, legal or illegal) 
will be asked by police to urinate in a bottle.

The officer will ask you, according to the government Bill C-32 just 
introduced in the House of Commons, something like this: "I demand 
that you provide a sample of your urine in a bottle, that will enable 
a proper analysis to be made to determine whether you have a drug in 
your body."

If you refuse to provide the urine sample right there in the police 
station, you are found guilty. You are not allowed to go home and 
urinate in a bottle and drop it off later, like at a hospital or 
doctor's office.

Your fine will start at $1,000. That's the minimum, and it's up to 
the Judge how high it will be.

If you refuse a second time you are stopped to give a sample of 
urine, blood or other bodily fluids, then you go directly to jail for 
a minimum of 30 days. The next time it happens you start with four 
months in jail - those are all minimum sentences for the offence.

When you get stopped (perhaps in a check stop) the first thing you 
will notice are the video cameras going. That's in the new law.

That's right, the American way. Cameras and audio rolling just like 
on American TV.

Upon being stopped everything that happens to you and everything you 
say will be on film and audio. On page four of the new Bill it says 
the police officer "will make a video recording of a performance of 
the physical co-ordination tests."

What physical co-ordination tests? You guessed it, the exact same 
ones you see on TV (with some extra things added) to make it truly American.

The police officer will first say, according to the new law something 
like: "I demand that you perform physical coordination tests, to 
enable me to determine whether a demand may be made to accompany me, 
for the purpose of providing a sample of bodily fluids."

Then the police officer will ask you to exit the car. He will bring 
you to the front of the vehicle in video and audio range and ask you 
to stand up straight on one foot.

He will then instruct you to use your opposite hand and bend over and 
touch the toes of the foot on the ground - without losing your balance.

The officer may then ask you to hop on one foot along an imaginary 
line on the road without losing your balance and direction.

The officer may ask you to do more demanding physical co-ordination 
tests as well.

If you refuse to do the tests you will be found guilty of drug 
impaired driving and you will have to first find another way to get 
home, and then you pay a minimum $1,000 fine.

If you do the tests and fail, then you have to urinate in a bottle. 
If drugs are detected in the bottle, you may do time.

And you will be on videotape. Everything you do and say will be recorded.

And, if you are stopped in town or along a busy highway you will 
become the subject of conversation the next day.

You may turn on the TV some evening and see yourself trying to touch 
those toes and falling over. The program might be called 'Canada's 
funniest videos' or 'Canada's most out-of-shape drivers'.

With the Americanization of the stops complete with video cameras, 
make sure you pay that fine.

If you don't pay the fines, the next step could be Dog the Bounty 
Hunter. After all, his name is really Duane Chapman - Dog could be one of us.
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MAP posted-by: Elaine