Prince Edward Island cracks down on repeat drunk drivers with tougher penalties

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CHARLOTTETOWN - The government of Prince Edward Island is changing the penalties for chronic impaired drivers.

The Highway Traffic Act is being amended to increase the sentence using ignition interlock devices, among other things.

Under one of the changes, a driver would be sentenced to use the device for five years rather than the current penalty of two years if he is convicted of a second offence and his blood-alcohol content was above 0.16, which is twice the legal limit.

The device would be used for 10 years, up from five years, for a third and subsequent offences.

The government says it is making the changes because the proportion of second- and third-time offenders has increased slightly, even though impaired driving convictions have dropped over the past four years.

The province says the amendments would take effect July 7.

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, CHARLOTTETOWN

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Recent comments

  • Nancy
    May 10, 2014 - 16:09

    This newest piece of legislation will definitely have an impact but I fear not the one that they expect. Our government is assuming that by adding to the consequences of driving drunk will make people think before they get behind the wheel. They could not be more wrong. Those who are stupid enough to drink and drive are not people who think far enough ahead to consider the consequences of their actions. The people that will be impacted by this legislation are an entirely different group of people. This group of people are "us" the general public. By adding to the financial burden of those who have been caught for impaired driving, this legislation will only ensure that we have more unlicensed drivers on our roads because people can not afford to install and maintain the ignition interlock devices, among other things. Those who defy the laws by driving drunk will have no difficulty driving without a valid license and therefore are uninsured and a hazard to the general public. Since the government is so fond of producing statistics to support their decisions, I wonder if anyone has produced any statistics on the number of impaired driving convictions compared to the number of people who have installed the ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. I am confident the numbers would show a very low percentage of offenders are following the sentencing program and am also confident that many of these offenders are continuing to drive with or without the benefit of a license thereby being an insurance nightmare for the rest of us. The impaired driving convictions have dropped over the past four years due to education, visibility of police officers, road checks, M.A.D.D. , etc. and it is these programs that should be invested in rather than increased sentencing.

  • Observer
    May 09, 2014 - 20:27

    You cannot make it tough enough for drunk drivers - especially repeat offenders. They are either too stupid or too arrogant to be given any break whatsoever.