N.S. toughens penalties for drunk drivers

Nova Scotia is going to get a lot tougher on impaired drivers.

By Rebecca Lamarche

NS seeks to protect children 16 and under from drunk drivers (Rebecca Lamarche photo).

Nova Scotia is going to get a lot tougher on impaired drivers.

The current Motor Vehicle Act requires second-time offenders to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program (AIIP). The new amendments will require all offenders to participate in AIIP, and will enforce an additional year on current penalties.

Creating a Safer Environment
Interlock User’s Handbook
Application for AIIP
Addiction Services
Mothers Against Drunk Driving 

Government Issued News Release

Services NS AIIP

“The Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program is a system where the offender has to blow into a device before a car would start. With the amendments, the program will now be mandatory for first time offenders for a minimum of 12 months,” says Lindsay Lewis, Communications Officer for the Department of Transportation.

Impaired driving is the leading cause of deaths and injuries in the province. The government is hoping these amendments will make the roads a safer place, especially for children.

The government issued Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program User’s Handbook says, “Ignitions Interlock is a proven technology that is helping to reduce drinking and driving in other parts of Canada and around the world.We are confident that the program will help keep Nova Scotia’s roads safer.”

These harsher penalties are quite expensive for offenders.

impaired driving causes the most deaths & injuries in NS (Rebecca Lamarche photo).

The User’s Handbook says the program will cost each offender $1,700 to $2,000 for the first year to have it installed and maintained. That’s on top of a $400 Addiction Services fee.

There is no financial support for the AIIP.”The individual has to cover the expenses,” says Lewis.

And getting your licence back will be more difficult.

Lewis says, first time offenders,  “would have to wait out the mandatory suspension time and apply to AIIP. After they have completed the minimum time in AIIP, they would have to participate in an Alcohol Rehabilitation Program and wait until the revocation period is over before re-applying for their license and paying all related fees.”

The government's goal is to make NS roads a safer place (Rebecca Lamarche photo).

The provincial government’s hopes that by enforcing these stricter penalties and coupling them with previously successful campaigns, such as Operation Christmas and Campaign 911, the Nova Scotia roads will be safer.

“Our goal is to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on the roads. We are confident that this program will help us achieve it,” says Service Nova Scotia.