New impaired driving laws come into effect

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Laws requiring impaired drivers to install interlock device began Feb. 23

All drivers convicted of impaired driving in Prince Edward Island will now be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.

All drivers convicted of impaired driving in Prince Edward Island will now be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.

Legislation expanding the ignition interlock program to all offenders was passed last fall. The law came into effect Feb. 23.

“The message to impaired drivers is clear: Driving after drinking or taking drugs is a senseless crime that will not be excused,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey. “Requiring all offenders to have an ignition interlock system will help keep impaired drivers off our roads.”

Previously, only drivers with multiple convictions were required to install an ignition interlock.

The law outlines minimum timeframes for how long the device must remain installed: one year for the first offence, two years for the second offence and five years for the third offence. An additional year is added if a child is in the vehicle at the time of the offense.

Offenders are required to cover the costs associated with the device.

The new law also means impaired drivers can lose their vehicles for longer. Vehicles can now be impounded for up to six months, rather than the previous maximum of 60 days. Offenders would also face daily impoundment fees charged by the storage lots.

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • what a joke
    February 26, 2013 - 18:28

    So all i have to do if i am drunk and want to drive is pay somone 20$ on the street to blow into the meter for me.

  • clam
    February 26, 2013 - 15:33

    This is to bobertbhiz,if u anything about the machine that drunk drivers have to put in their cars, nobody else can blow into them or u can't disconect them. you have to blow into them and hum at the same time .it records everything ,so everything has to be the same,a friend had this done to him

    February 26, 2013 - 10:06

    What happens if an impaired driver gets a non drinker to provide a brearth sample?

  • Trying to be happy
    February 26, 2013 - 07:26

    Like to thank the PEI government for taking the right step...Mr. Harper I wish you could please follow the Pei government & care for the citizens of Canada & rid the new EI rules.. life is hard enough !!! Thank You....Nothing against any government just want to see happiness & less stress in life for the common folk!!

  • Bill
    February 26, 2013 - 01:47

    I have read all of the above comments, and it reminds me of the old Red Rose Tea commercials, when they used to say,"Only In Canada? Pity", well my friends...only in PEI, would there honestly be so many people commenting with the amount of genuine vigor and wannabe intellect, that they actually think that it is really going to make a difference in society. I say,"Give yourselves a slap, people". There is nothing that you can continue arguing about, and trying to make each other look bad about that will actually bring about any productive measures!!

  • BobertBhiz
    February 25, 2013 - 21:46

    People actually believe this is going to be effective, and that's downright scary. When it doesn't work, and believe me, it won't - remember my endless whining about actual jail time. The next time an islander with previous DUI's in the double digits gets caught or god forbid hurts someone while on suspension (and he's driving either someone else's car or easily disengages his ignition lock), think really hard about why you thought jail time was excessive and expensive. Is there anything an islander can do to get put into jail or prison? A man recently found guilty of rape was sentenced to 2 years. Let that sink in, and then tell me where the weakness in our justice system is. To those who applaud these recent changes - please, enlighten me on how you think all the trouble, expense and enforcement is going to make any difference at all. It was the same when you all wanted the cellphone ban in cars. There was a law already on the books that covered cellphones or any other distraction an officer deemed citation-worthy. Still, like sheep, you all cheered when the wording was changed. Enforcement, the backing of the courts with mandatory minimums, and JAIL TIME for repeat offenders - this combination will always work. Still, the collective couch potato applauds like a seal at any hint of "change", even if it's totally ineffective. This entire program is a passive aggressive flop, pushed forward by people so out of touch with reality, they should have ignition locks on their houses that detect low IQs, so they can stay in all day and watch the soaps. All the innocent dead from repeat DUI offenders, and this imbecilic program is how we honor them? What is it going to take to make people commit to the fact that some people NEED to be locked away to be kept off the roads? How many dead is too many? Stop being such cowards and send a message. Teenagers in Ontario are disengaging these locks in less than 5 minutes, but the gullibles here are cheering like we're finally "sending a message". Absolutely pathetic.

    February 25, 2013 - 20:17

    RE:BILL KAYS , your never ending diatribes have become tired.

  • BobertBhiz
    February 25, 2013 - 18:22

    It's so depressing to know some people are so unintelligent, that they think these new laws are going to make a dent in the problem. Notice none of the changes involve increases in jail time for repeat offenders or for those caught driving while suspended. Ignition locks are a ridiculous, passive-aggressive attempt at babysitting people who truly belong in jail. It's so obvious that those who have legislated these changes to the laws have either no idea what they're trying to achieve - unless that is to make lots of noise pretending to be effective. If someone is caught driving drunk while suspended, they still don't have to spend the rest of the suspension in jail. If someone is caught DUI over 5 times, they still don't lose their license to drive permanently. They still won't give us a reason why this is, but have opted instead for a ridiculous contraption on a car that is not only easily defeated by anyone with mechanical skills. I'm in no way cresting upper middle class, and I can get access to at least 3 different cars at any time. I'm tired of hearing of these proposed changes as anything but cowardice.

    February 25, 2013 - 17:47

    Excellent ... now how about getting serious about all who CONTINUE to talk/text while driving.Not a day goes by that you don't witness a bunch of these idiots. I say fine them AND conviscate their phones ... time to get real on this issue.This kind of driver is just as dangereous.

    • ha
      February 25, 2013 - 19:58

      Ha Conviscate their phones are you ridiculous. Phones are used also for emergencys. If they started doing this and if themselves or someone around them had a heart attack, You would know who they would be blaming.

  • Peter James
    February 25, 2013 - 17:02

    You are absolutely correct Bill Kays and this is the way all levels of Government want it

    February 25, 2013 - 16:43

    This is a great step! Just one question, is it not possible that someone else could blow into the device for the drunk driver? It sounds absurd, but I have heard people make reference to that in Ontario. Alcoholics can be sly and persuasive!

  • CARL
    February 25, 2013 - 16:27

    bill kays for premier

  • Judge Judy
    February 25, 2013 - 16:09

    It is nice to see these steps being taken, now we can only hope the courts will enforce them. These drivers have no place on our roads and neither do the ones that are driving around with invalid plates or no insurance. These drivers just put a plate on whatever car they happen to be driving on a given day. It is an insult to the rest of the motoring public that these people use the roads without paying registration and insurance costs. I hope more of these people are caught as well as the impaired drivers

  • Mark
    February 25, 2013 - 15:56

    To Mr Bill Kays. Please research before ranting. Random thoughts, going off topic, and bold text do not make for productive discussion. Doctors, not police or courts, have the right and ethical responsibility to suspend a patients drivers license if their patient is not safe to drive due to a medical condition and that does include the use of legal medication. Also if a person is found to be impaired due to drugs (legal or illegal) they can and will be charged with "impaired driving, or operating a motor vehicle while impaired", the exact same charge and possible sentences as drinking and driving. Secondly the article did not say anything about Canadians having freedom. I'm sure you realize as well as the rest of us that the only real freedom we have as Canadians is to pay our taxes. That being said, I think that this is an excellent step in the right direction. Impaired driving has been a major problem on PEI for many years and this will be a great deterrent for possible offenders. Thank you and have a great day!

  • Concerned about DWI
    February 25, 2013 - 15:43

    This is a first step in the right direction. Great work from Government, Police Enforcement and Madd Chapters for keeping this issue alive. All serious injuries and deaths by Impaired Driver, Repeat Offenders, suspended drivers are all preventable. Now, where are our Judges on this issue?

  • Christine
    February 25, 2013 - 15:42

    What if it was a fathers son or daughter who using the car and got the fine. Are you saying that the father would have to use the breathalyzer every time he got into the car? how is that fair? not just one person uses a car you know.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 25, 2013 - 15:24

    I am all for keeping drunk drivers off the road but at least there are declining numbers of them. What annoys me more than the drunk drivers on the road is the multitudes of people on mood altering LEGAL PRESCRIPTIONS, especially the ones that MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD. An altered mental state is still an altered mental state. You have got to love our government. They are such sweet angels that never do any wrong doing. I am for liberty and freedoms. Freedom from the ever encroaching government into my so called freedoms. I am not a free man. I am in bondage. Bondage to the banks, to government, to corporations, etc. etc. We are living in a planned existence called indebted servitude. It is different than other forms of slavery, but it is slavery none the less. They package it and sell it to you as FREEDOM. The sad reality of the situation is that indebted servitude may be worse because we are fooled into thinking we are free.

    • Kill Bays
      February 25, 2013 - 15:40

      If you hate it here so much maybe you should move somewhere else. I hear the government in China and North Korea are both pretty cool, you should check it out.

    • Glen
      February 25, 2013 - 17:17

      Bill KAYS, tell my grandfather that your not free. He got a free trip to Europe in the 1940's, end took a bullet home as a souvenir. Sell your crap that you bought that you didn't need. You will be dept free before you know it. I would like to donate $5 to send you to life in any free country you choose. Canada is the best country in the world, sorry you don't like it.

    • GobertBhiz
      February 25, 2013 - 18:41

      Bill my man, how are you feeling? Checking over your shoulder much lately? Need to spend a few days in the wilderness? Your sweeping condemnation of all mood altering prescriptions seems derived from some recent paranoid episode. I for one have been prescribed SSRIs a couple of times over the years. They helped level off my moods, effectively keeping me from horrible depression and accompanying suicidal thoughts. I have recently moved onto a more subtle, non-SSRI solution. I tapered off the SSRI as suggested by my doctor, and not only was I never able to maintain complete ability to drive effectively, I remain a far superior driver to easily 99% of island drivers, which nationally is about average. I use signals, don't tailgate, go average 10kmh over the limit, the list goes on. I've encountered a few people with your disposition over my years, and I think your paranoia is treatable if you express your concerns with your doctor. Doctors aren't selling drugs, they're prescribing them according to your symptoms. They welcome second opinions and will address your fears and offer solutions. I've had several side effects from some SSRIs, none dangerous, and my doctor helped me each time with an alternative. You might benefit from a mild dose of Paxil, or perhaps if you're feeling increasingly paranoid, a valium solution might be suggested for when things get bad. No one wants to owe money to the banks. Did you know you can declare personal bankruptcy and still keep your house and car? We may have to walk an increasingly corporate line, Bill, and I know we're inundated with far too much product placement and corruption is rampant in our society. It's not like eastern Europe corrupt, but yes, there is corruption. Still, it's no reason to let go of your sense of self or panic about. There is no reason to start writing a manifesto in a garden shed. We all have to bind ourselves to "the machine" if we want to have a good life, but if you're not feeling 'free', think realistically, and take steps to improve your sense of control and independence. DUI and mood altering drugs are too different things altogether, unless you're talking about an ability to drive being affected. I've been on several 'mood altering' drugs over the years, and never once has my ability to drive and react quickly been affected, not to mention my tolerance of PEI drivers as they drive like absolute animals. There are suggestions floating around for those under the influence of narcotics or marijuana, both which can affect the ability to drive. The problem with "toughening laws" is, being found guilty doesn't mean they'll be off the roads. How about focusing all your anger over "government mind control" instead to the fact we seem to have an almost clinical aversion to keeping those who belong in jail, OUT of jail?

  • dan sanderson
    February 25, 2013 - 15:15

    Good step in the right direction