Thank you for coming, Mr. Graham. I was able to consult a document that was sent to us and is entitled, “The Development of an Evaluation Framework for the Drug Recognition Expert Program”. That was presented to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and it was Douglas Beirness, who came and testified before us a few days ago, who presented it.
First, I'm very pleased because this document describes the steps for us. I am a lawyer, I previously worked on cases of this type, and I find this excellent. At least I understand. Even though I am on the government side, I was afraid that, at the roadside, because that's where most defences are developed... You remember that, in the case of the breathalyzer test, when the police officer had a suspicion, he arrested the individual. You know as well as I do that, in the case of certain tests, which are now called standardized sobriety tests, the Supreme Court held that, if the person arrested was not warned, the tests could not be used to incriminate him because it did not want him to incriminate himself. You know the rule that you cannot incriminate yourself.
The question I ask myself concerns the sobriety test. When you are at the roadside, there is a suspicion. A police officer asks the person to stop. The officer has to gather evidence gradually in order to continue the effort to take him to the police station. He doesn't know at that point whether it's alcohol or drugs. All he knows is that there is an indicator or a suspicion of impaired faculties. Naturally, it's easier in the case of alcohol, because the police officer has in his car a device called a Dragger into which he has the person breathe. If the device indicates fail, he takes the individual to the police station for more tests. Naturally, we know that, if that's what the police officer does, there won't be any problem because we know the sequence in the types of alcohol levels.
Mr. Ménard's question is very relevant. In the case of drugs, is the sobriety test administered at the roadside, like those I've previously known? The citizen is asked to get out of his car, the police officer stands behind him to see if he is staggering or if he smells alcohol directly, but the car's interior may smell of alcohol. After that, there are certain tests—Mr. Ménard said that—such as putting one's finger on one's nose, etc. Is that in fact what you prefer so that your suspicions gradually give you the opportunity to move toward the 12 steps? That's at the roadside. You must understand that, in Quebec, like everywhere else in Canada, it's not easy to conduct the roadside walking test at -30 degrees Celsius in the winter. You're beside Highway 20, you're having trouble, the roads are not completely straight. A good lawyer could overturn your case right away. The point is to clearly understand whether that's what you mean when you talk about standardized tests. Are you talking about those that I am familiar with—perhaps there are others—that you conduct for alcohol when you don't have a Dragger in your car? You say: “Walk, heel to toe, etc.” Is that what you're talking about when you refer to roadside tests?