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Justice committee  Thank you. Good morning from Brisbane, Australia. I would like to thank the committee for the opportunity to speak to you today about Australia's approach to reducing alcohol-related road crashes. I hope this will assist you in your deliberations relating to Bill C-46. Over th

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson

Justice committee  In fact, I believe random breath testing is a way to overcome the very problem you talked about. To set the scene, prior to the introduction of RBT in Australia, the police would breath test people using their discretion. This tended to mean that they used to surveil or hang arou

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson

Justice committee  There is a potential for that, but in fact the advice given in Australia by road safety advocates like me is that everyone who is pulled over by the police and comes in contact with them during a traffic stop should be breath tested, whether that's for speeding or distracted driv

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson

Justice committee  Exactly. That was the problem with the previous program we had, called RID, which was a form of sobriety checkpoint. The drivers always had the possibility that, even though they were pulled over, if they didn't breathe on the policeman or they could act appropriately and the po

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson

Justice committee  The deployment of the booze buses is controlled by operational police, but senior police set various targets for the amount of breath testing that should be performed and the locations where that should occur. In keeping with the principles of general deterrence, I know that the

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson

Justice committee  Unfortunately, it's difficult to disentangle the Australian experience, really, to answer your question, because one of the key things is that although when random breath testing was introduced across the states it was the initiative that caught a lot of public attention and real

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson

Justice committee  That's right. From a criminological perspective, you're wanting to optimize that general deterrent that relates to the likelihood of detection, and then if you are detected, the punishment you will receive will be certain, reasonably severe, and also swift.

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson

Justice committee  At the moment in Australia, there's no push to legalize marijuana. There is beginning to be a push for it to be used for medical purposes. In that respect, the Australian situation is quite different. Indeed, as you may be aware, as early as 2003, the Australian states started in

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson

Justice committee  The random roadside drug testing does take a considerably longer time than the random breath testing. In the case of random breath testing, drivers are really only detained for 30 seconds to a minute, let's say. In the case of the roadside drug testing, there's an initial sali

September 25th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Barry Watson