RCMP commissioner rules random alcohol checks illegal
The RCMP police complaints commissioner said police efforts to stop drunken revellers from ruining Canada Day celebrations, while laudable, aren't legal.
Paul Kennedy was looking into the actions of West Shore RCMP in B.C. in their attempt to help Victoria police rid the annual Canada Day fireworks celebration of drunken rowdies.
On Canada Day last year, RCMP and other police forces searched members of the public and seized vast amounts of alcohol and drugs destined to be consumed at the celebration.
A woman launched a complaint after being searched three times, pointing out police forces in Canada don't have the authority to initiate such random searches.
Kennedy concluded the searchers weren't authorized under the B.C. Liquor Control Act, which he said in his report is unfortunate.
Kennedy said if the police searches are to continue, then either the B.C. government or City of Victoria needs to change the laws to give police the legislative authority.