Automotive

Roadblocks in Canada - what are the rights?

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  • Jul 21st, 2020 7:16 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 21, 2017
274 posts
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Roadblocks in Canada - what are the rights?

There is a popular video on reddit about remaining silent while going through roadblocks in North Carolina:

The person recommends just handing the license and not saying a word to the police.

I wonder if the same advise applies to Canada? From what I have found online, you may be legally required to verbally state your name and address if you are in BC. Are you required to answer any other questions?

Perhaps not being "friendly" with the police will just make them investigate you, since they no longer need a suspicion to require you to do a breath sample?

I do not drink and drive (and I am very much against it), but I am also against roadblocks as I believe they give the police too much power.
62 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
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Barrie, ON
You're against DUI checkpoints that will possibly get drunks off the road from killing people because it took up a min or two of your time?
[OP]
Member
Nov 21, 2017
274 posts
274 upvotes
I realize that the opinion in favour or against roadblocks may be polarizing.

However, I do not want to argue in favour or against roadblocks in this thread. They are there, and it is just a matter of fact. Maybe I shouldn't have included my opinion in the first post.

I'd like to discuss the rights the people have. These are not well known and somewhat hazy.
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
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Barrie, ON
We can agree on that. People definitely has a lot of different answers as to what they're legally required to provide etc at a DUI checkpoint.
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
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Toronto, Ontario
mxthor3 wrote: You're against DUI checkpoints that will possibly get drunks off the road from killing people because it took up a min or two of your time?
One can be against both drunk drivers and police road blocks at the same time, they're not mutually exclusive. Not a lawyer but theres plenty of articles you can read on Google but in laymen's terms road blocks are actually against our rights (arbitrary detention), but are "accepted" as being OK, so I can understand OP's POV. Personally I think the current generation is much more likely to drive dangerously distracted using a cellphone, than drive drunk. I find the DUI roadblocks useless, but they do catch the odd moron.

OP just be careful with any advice you read about for the USA, in Canada the laws are completely different.
[OP]
Member
Nov 21, 2017
274 posts
274 upvotes
Yes, like I mentioned, I am against DUI in my original post.

I am mainly interested in the specific rights we have when we are stopped at a roadblock.

All the downvotes - I guess people do not care to know about their rights? Just rely on the good policeman to do everything by the book and not violate your rights?
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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The only thing I have to add to this is police can now also ask for breath sample without cause or suspicions. So they probably don't need to ask any questions at all.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-sco ... -1.4949061


IMHO, just do what you are told. Don't try to butter them up or anything.
Last edited by Xtrema on Jul 13th, 2020 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
W T F is an attorney driving uber?
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 19, 2002
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tebore wrote: W T F is an attorney driving uber?
It's a great way to sign up clients.
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Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
Spinner wrote: It's a great way to sign up clients.
Right right.
DUI clients.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
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Ecsta wrote: One can be against both drunk drivers and police road blocks at the same time, they're not mutually exclusive. Not a lawyer but theres plenty of articles you can read on Google but in laymen's terms road blocks are actually against our rights (arbitrary detention), but are "accepted" as being OK, so I can understand OP's POV. Personally I think the current generation is much more likely to drive dangerously distracted using a cellphone, than drive drunk. I find the DUI roadblocks useless, but they do catch the odd moron.

OP just be careful with any advice you read about for the USA, in Canada the laws are completely different.
If one has nothing to hide and/or has done nothing wrong, why would one be against roadblocks?

What other methods are you proposing to keep drunks off the road exactly?
[OP]
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Nov 21, 2017
274 posts
274 upvotes
Oh yes, the good old argument "what are you afraid of if you have nothing to hide". That has worked so well in many interactions with the police.
Member
Oct 24, 2018
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I thought this thread was going to be about plowing through illegal blocking of roads by protestors......I was going to suggest mounting a snow plow to the front of a vehicle first.
Deal Addict
Sep 21, 2011
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beardlessBard wrote: Oh yes, the good old argument "what are you afraid of if you have nothing to hide". That has worked so well in many interactions with the police.
Haha very true. Guy I worked with went through the ride and cop ask him have you been drinking and he said no but I think you have lol cop was having few brewski’s on his shift lol.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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hierophant wrote: If one has nothing to hide and/or has done nothing wrong, why would one be against roadblocks?

What other methods are you proposing to keep drunks off the road exactly?
Knowing your rights is good place to start. But don't rub that in cops' face. Be courteous since dude is just doing his job and talks to a few hundred random idiots a night. Make their job easier.

Now if they start f'ing with you without cause, then know really your rights.

The "If you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide" crowd should relocate to China to see what that kind of society that thinking leads to.
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Mar 7, 2007
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beardlessBard wrote: Oh yes, the good old argument "what are you afraid of if you have nothing to hide". That has worked so well in many interactions with the police.
OP, first of all, you need to face reality. Maybe it is a sad reality; maybe it is happy. Up to you to decide.

If you are in Ontario, or in Canada, the law support this kind of stop. It may be different in the USA, and if you are in the USA, you are asking the question in the wrong forum.

The police in Canada can stop your motor vehicle for the following reasons: "the mechanical fitness of the vehicle, the possession of a valid licence and proper insurance, and the sobriety of the driver".

You can refuse to answer questions at the stop, but then the cops are in the position to demand a breath test.

If you refuse a breath test, the penalties are the same as if you took the test and blew over the limit.



This is my understanding of the law, based on my limited knowledge, and the Supreme Court of Canada ruling -https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-c ... 4/index.do
Conclusion

While the routine check is an arbitrary detention in violation of s. 9 of the Charter , the infringement is one that is reasonable and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. As a result, s. 189a(1) of the Highway Traffic Act is a valid and constitutional legislative enactment.
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Xtrema wrote: Knowing your rights is good place to start. But don't rub that in cops' face. Be courteous since dude is just doing his job and talks to a few hundred random idiots a night. Make their job easier.

Now if they start f'ing with you without cause, then know really your rights.

The "If you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide" crowd should relocate to China to see what that kind of society that thinking leads to.
Definitely knowing your rights important especially because many Canadians don't - they actually think what happens in US (by watching news, tv and movies) happens here.
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hierophant wrote: Definitely knowing your rights important especially because many Canadians don't - they actually think what happens in US (by watching news, tv and movies) happens here.
I agree. We must be informed of our rights. Thinking that the USA laws apply here may cause problems.

The sad reality is that we have less rights (in some ways, in comparison). But the happy consequence is that we live in an orderly, peaceful society (mostly).

The other negative aspect is that the cops have quite a bit of power under some circumstances, and there's a chance of abuse or misuse of this power.
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USA: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Canada: peace, order and good government

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