MONTREAL - A prominent group that consults on issues of impaired driving is recommending that police be permitted to conduct random breathalyzer tests on motorists in Quebec. 

The Quebec Highway Safety Roundtable, chaired by math professor Jean-Marie De Koninck, issued 23 recommendations in a 60-page document Friday, all aimed at decreasing impaired driving.

De Koninck, who founded the Nez Rouge holiday lift service 1984, noted that many impaired drivers currently go unpunished.

In Quebec a police officer cannot order a driver to submit to an alcohol test unless he has reason to suspect that the driver has diminished faculties.

Systematic random screening would allow police to test drivers at such police operations as speeding incidents or accident scenes.

The group believes that the practice would help catch impaired drivers and deter others from getting behind the wheel when not sober.

Some countries, such as Australia, have long allowed police officers to randomly test motorists for impairment.

-With a file from The Canadian Press