OTTAWA–Canadian motorists should be given random roadside tests in an effort to combat impaired driving, a parliamentary committee recommends.

Conservative MP Ed Fast (Abbotsford), chair of the justice and human right committee, said the move might be controversial but something has to be done because impaired driving remains the No. 1 criminal cause of death in Canada.

Currently, the law requires reasonable grounds before police can administer a breathalyzer to a driver suspected of being impaired. Under the committee proposal, that requirement would disappear.

Fast told a press conference yesterday the all-party committee decided random checks, like those used in Ireland and Australia, would be the most effective deterrent available to stop motorists from driving after drinking.

"It increases the probably of an impaired driver coming into contact with police and therefore increases the risk of being caught," Fast said.

The all-party committee stopped short of recommending the legal limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (.08) be reduced, citing the inability of the justice system to cope with the increased workload.

The New Democrats dissented on this, arguing it should 50 milligrams (.05).