With over 1076 people convicted of drunk driving in New Brunswick in 2016 and 17 fatalities caused as a result, the province has decided to increase the consequences for those convicted starting November 1, 2017. New measures such as increased fees and impounding vehicles will now make New Brunswick one of the toughest jurisdictions in Canada with respect to drunk driving.
Those convicted of impaired driving will also now be required to place a mandatory alcohol ignition device into their vehicle to prevent drivers from starting the engine if their breath alcohol content (BrAC) is higher than the legal limit.
Steeper punishments for beginner drivers who choose to disobey the law by driving impaired will also be implemented. If found impaired, police will be able to suspend a driver’s license for a 24 hour period at roadside. Drivers without a full license who are caught driving impaired will immediately have their license suspended and their vehicles impounded for a week. If convicted, novice drivers will also receive a one year license suspension and will have to restart the process of getting their license from the beginning.
“Driving impaired takes too many lives, especially when we have the technology advancements that can make the situation so easily avoidable. Implementing more severe consequences is a big step towards eliminating drunk driving and enhancing public safety”, says Felix J.E. Comeau, Chairman and CEO–Alcohol Countermeasure Systems.
Many suggest that the New Brunswick government should also enforce similar consequences towards drivers who decide to drive under the influence of drugs and suggest that those who fail oral saliva tests should also have their vehicles impounded.
“Both drugs and alcohol have deadly consequences when getting behind the wheel. With the upcoming legalization of marijuana, field sobriety tests and oral saliva testing will help keep roads safe”- Felix J.E. Comeau, Chairman and CEO–Alcohol Countermeasure Systems.
Having your car seized is a large deterrent for driving impaired. Prior to this new regulation, if caught driving impaired, drivers were only requested to park their car overnight. With this new law in place, the CEO of MADD Canada suggests that people will be too ashamed to explain to their employers or family members why they don’t have access to their car for the week, which will be a significant deterrent for most individuals.
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