Communist Canada Establishes Presumed Guilt as Legal Standard
My old pal from my American Thinker and Canada Free Press days, Tim Birdnow, has a very substantial post at his blog addressing Canada’s new drunk driving law. The core principle of the new law is that neither drunk driving, nor even any cause for suspicion of drunk driving, is required any longer as grounds for police to demand a breath sample — that is, to coerce a law-abiding citizen to submit to being treated as a criminal suspect for absolutely no reason.
Tim cites an article on the law’s details by Arthur Weinreb at CFP, which includes the following detail:
Under the old law, police who lawfully stopped a motorist could demand breath samples be given into a roadside screening device only if the officer had a “reasonable suspicion” the driver had alcohol in his or her system. The reasonable suspicion would be formed if the officer could smell alcohol or observe other indicia of impairment. The new law does away with the need of “reasonable suspicion.” Any driver who is lawfully stopped by a police officer can be required to provide breath samples even if there is no evidence the person had been drinking.
The law has been changed so a police officer can demand a person provide breath samples up to two hours AFTER the person has been driving. This is the most draconian section of the new law and was supposedly passed to get around the following situation. Police are advised a certain vehicle is driving erratically. By the time it is located, it is parked in a driveway and the driver is in the house drinking. It is impossible to know how much, if any, alcohol the driver had in his or her blood at the time of driving. Under the new law, if the person ends up being charged with an offence, the onus is on them to prove they had not been driving illegally within the preceding two hours.
As Tim comments:
Now Canada essentially demands proof of innocence rather than proof of guilt. And if the rights of Canadian citizens [are] exempted in this fashion over one thing [they] can be exempted over another. How long before Canada forces those accused of serious crimes – like murder, or rape – to prove their innocence?
That is what has been happening at American and Canadian universities for some time in regards to “sexual assault” – a catchall phrase that encompasses breaking up with a woman or rebuffing her advances. The accused has to prove innocence, and I am of the opinion the Left wants to make that standard the national standard for anyone, in college or not. The new drunk driving laws in Canada merely extend this standard to the criminal realm, and it will be promoted here in the States in short order.
Tim is certainly right about the progressives’ intentions in the realm of sexual crimes. That, after all, is the essence of the “Me Too” movement: Any claim made by any woman against anyone must be believed, under penalty of social condemnation as a sexist protector of male hegemony. What is the effect of such social stigma and prejudgment, other than to create de facto guilt in all such cases, which in turn leaves the accused in the position of having to prove his innocence, with the added dollop of Kafkaesque logic that in such cases, like any case touching upon Marxist identity politics orthodoxies of the moment, the very attempt to prove one’s innocence is in itself proof of guilt, since the real crime at issue is not the narrow offence of which one is officially accused, but rather the heresy of not bowing before Marxist orthodoxy.
As for Canada, there is nothing even remotely strange in any of this. The country that for a year or so I have been calling Communist Canada — my native land, sadly — has been moving inexorably toward absolute statism for decades, and has only accelerated the final stages of the process in recent years. Guilty until proven innocent fits comfortably within the status quo in the country that uses a “human rights tribunal” to condemn private citizens, including media companies and journalists, as thought criminals; and the country that recently “legalized” marijuana by essentially nationalizing the industry at arms length, in one of the most egregious political conflicts of interest since Brave New World — literally making the federal government the chief expert on and promoter of a recreational drug that has mass pacification, emotional dependency, and the loss of critical thinking skills as its major intended effects.
Incidentally, it should also be noted that the same law that legalized marijuana is the one that removed suspicion of alcohol impairment as grounds for demanding a breath sample. This law also established police authority to demand roadside saliva sampling for those suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana. Given the obvious slippery slope in the drunk driving procedures, how long do you think that “suspicion of impairment” condition will apply to drug tests?
Welcome to the newly-enhanced Canadian police state: We’ll help you find and use mind-numbing dope, and then we’ll demean you as a suspected criminal merely for living in a country where smoking dope is legal. Don’t worry, you won’t mind, since you’ll be too stoned to take any of this seriously.
And the point of all this, of course, is not to reduce impaired driving, nor even to improve law enforcement. The goal is to inure the public to the principle that the government has ultimate jurisdiction over your life, property, and behavior — including your pleasures — at all times, and therefore that while you may in practice be allowed to go on your merry way without any interruptions, the state is authorized (by itself) to override your wishes, your “rights,” and your human dignity, at any time, for any reason — or in fact for no reason at all, other than to make sure you know your place. That is the core meaning of progressivism in implementation: You are property of the state, and you will never be allowed to forget it. Or rather, to be more precise, you will forget it, in the sense of coming to experience it less as a conscious reality than as second nature, as unquestionable as the air in your lungs and the ground beneath your feet.
Back to Tim Birdnow for the last word:
Everything comes back to government control with the Progressives. They eschew personal responsibility, or Christian morality, as a means to promote societal stability, and take every pain to dismantle the institutions and beliefs that make society orderly and safe, but then they turn around and use the resultant chaos as a tool to promote new powers, new laws, new institutions designed to expand their stranglehold on society.