Pubdate: Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Source: Nor'wester, 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 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 that 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.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D