Unconstitutional laws; convenient and profitable!

Dave Killion — December 21, 2011

Isn't there supposed to be a trial or something first?

The Province of British Columbia has some new drunk-driving laws, sections of which were recently found by the B.C. Supreme Court to be unconstitutional. The Vancouver Sun reports that the provincial government is asking permission to keep violating the rights of its electorate for a little while longer

“The province asked Monday for a six-month delay of a B.C. Supreme Court decision, to give the legislature time to react to a ruling that found sections of new drunk-driving laws to be unconstitutional.

In the interim, the tougher drunk-driving laws should remain in place, said provincial lawyer George Copley.

“There is a danger to the public if this legislation is not kept in force,” said Copley.”

This is remarkably weak. Should we all be kept locked in padded cells because letting people move about creates a danger to the public? Of course not. The court should reject the argument that the existence of some level of danger is justification for violating the rights of BC residents.

“Copley also argued the court should consider the financial “chaos” of repealing the law and having to reimburse drivers who have incurred penalties, estimating that fines and other costs collected have reached $50 million.”

Oh, really? Well, perhaps the government should consider the financial “chaos” of recklessly enacting constitutionally indefensible regulations. Then maybe they would vet their legislative proposals a little more carefully before mugging the taxpayer. Hopefully the court will not entertain the notion that the province should be permitted to keep behaving like criminals simply because it’s cheaper than doing otherwise. It’s about time someone taught these ethically-challenged politicians that the ends don’t justify the means.

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