Im­paired driv­ing penal­ties be­com­ing stricter

Journal Pioneer - - THE ISLAND -

The penal­ties for im­paired driv­ing in P.E.I. are get­ting tougher.

Start­ing to­day, amend­ments to the prov­ince’s High­way Traf­fic Act ex­tend ve­hi­cle im­pound­ments, in­crease some ig­ni­tion in­ter­lock terms, add li­cense sus­pen­sions to a driv­ing record, and stricter rules for younger driv­ers.

“Prince Ed­ward Island has the high­est con­vic­tion rate and the harsh­est pun­ish­ments for im­paired driv­ers in Canada, but there is al­ways more we can do as a prov­ince to get to zero im­paired driv­ing in­ci­dents, zero in­juries and zero col­li­sions,” Trans­porta­tion Paula Big­gar said. “These changes are an­other step for­ward in our gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing safety on Island roads through ed­u­ca­tion, en­force­ment, high­way de­sign, and leg­is­la­tion.”

Changes to the act will al­low ve­hi­cle im­pound­ments for road­side driv­ing sus­pen­sions and for im­paired driv­ing con­vic­tions as well as in­crease the min­i­mum manda­tory ig­ni­tion in­ter­lock term for those con­victed of a se­cond im­paired driv­ing of­fence to three years and five years, based on blood al­co­hol lev­els. The new rules al­low short­term road­side driver li­cense sus­pen­sions to be added to a driver’s ab­stract and ex­tend the zero-tol­er­ance pe­riod for blood al­co­hol so that it ap­plies to all new grad­u­ated li­cenced driv­ers 22 years of age and un­der. The amend­ments to the High­way Traf­fic Act were de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with MADD Canada and the Prince Ed­ward Island As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice. They also draw on the work of the prov­ince’s 2013 im­paired driv­ing sum­mit. “MADD Canada wel­comes the en­act­ment of these im­por­tant new im­paired driv­ing mea­sures,” said MADD Canada Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Andrew Murie. “Ex­tended BAC re­stric­tions for young driv­ers, ve­hi­cle im­pound­ments, and the other mea­sures com­ing into ef­fect will help to re­duce im­paired driv­ing, and will save lives and pre­vent in­juries.”

For more in­for­ma­tion visit: www.princeed­wardis­land.ca/ im­paired­driv­ing.

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