Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring

Hours after publicly speaking against tougher drunk-driving laws, Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring was charged Sunday for refusing to take a breathalyzer test when a police officer pulled him over.

"Our government takes drinking and driving very seriously," said Sara MacIntyre, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's press secretary. She wouldn't comment further while the case is before court, except to say Goldring, 66, has withdrawn from caucus until the charge is resolved.

The Vancouver Province is reporting Goldring has changed his caucus affiliation from Conservative Party to Civil Libertarian after being charged with failing to provide a breath sample to police in December.

In 2009, Goldring opposed proposed legislation changes that would allow police to screen all drivers with roadside breathalyzer tests, whether or not officers suspected the drivers had been drinking.

"It is safe to say everyone is opposed to drunk driving - but there are civilliberty issues involved," Goldring wrote in an article posted on his website at the time. "There is the presumption of innocence and the right to not selfincriminate."

That's rather absurd. If we oppose drinking and driving, we will gladly give a breath test. The only reason for not doing so is as he claimed, not to self incriminate. In other words you're guilty but you don't want to get caught. Just like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in Florida. Shame shame. I still say seizing your car after two drinks is wrong. That is a civil liberty issue not refusing to provide a sample to not self incriminate.


  1. I really hope I'm not understanding you to say that you are in favor of the police being able breathalize ANYONE who comes through a road block, probable cause or not...

    "Do you mind if we search your car? We have no reason to suspect you did anything wrong but if you haven't, you have nothing to hide, right?"

    Please tell me that you didn't say this.

  2. If I'm at a roadblock and the police ask me to blow, I don't have a problem with it. Searching your car without reasonable cause is a bit different but both Rob Ford and Peter Goldring refused to blow not because they opposed unreasonable searches but because they didn't want to self incriminate.

  3. The two examples are only "a bit" different. The principle is exactly the same.

    I'm pretty sure that in both those two cases the police could articulate why they asked these men to blow. Slurred speech, odor of alcohol, all that. "Probably cause." A bit different than "everyone who stops at the checkpoint blows".

    Don't get me wrong, I have no mercy for DUI. But I am not willing to allow the police greater powers in exchange for imagined greater safety. Unless you went to a 0.0% allowable alcohol level, people will still drink and then get behind the wheel. You haven't solved the problem, and yet now everyone has to blow. After that step is achieved, of course drug testing is next. Except there is no reliable technology to test for that other than a blood test. So, eventually you will be donating a sample of that roadside. First it would be only on "reasonable suspicion", then mandatory for everyone.

    Ben Franklin once said, "Those who are willing to give up freedom for security will have neither" or WTTE.

  4. I agree they shouldn't just search anyone or give everyone breath tests. However just because someone said they haven't been drinking doesn't exclude them from being tested. As you say, slurred speech, smell of alcohol, open cans or bottles of alcohol all constitute reasonable suspicions to warrant a breath test. I just don't think this guy or Rob Ford are civil rights activists. Far from it. They're just another Gordon Campbell drunk driving pig lining their pockets at the public's expense.

  5. Yeah, I agree, no such thing as a politician who is also a civil rights advocate, although most would jump to clam that they are. Especially not JabbatheFord.


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