Can you imagine being banned from driving for life? You’d struggle to get to work, school, or to do something as simple as get groceries. If you were in an emergency situation, you’d also have to look elsewhere to get where you needed to go. It would feel like a piece of your independence was gone forever.
Although people might consider impaired driver penalties in Canada to be harsh, it would take a lot of offenses to be banned from driving for the rest of your life. Unfortunately for one man in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia, he’s now received two lifetime bans and he’ll never legally drive again during his lifetime.
His most recent impaired driving offense was in a long string of offenses for Ashley Trent Scott. With 61 convictions for various criminal activities since 1978, he wracked up 8 convictions as an impaired driver and had already received a lifetime ban from driving back in 2007.
The second lifetime ban was imposed after he was stopped for impaired driving in 2011 and found to be driving on a suspended drivers license. At that stop he also refused to submit to a breathalyzer.
Offenders who drive on suspended drivers licenses are one of the reasons why Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocates for ignition interlock devices. With nothing preventing an offender from driving except a directive to not drive, some offenders will make the choice to drive again. The only way to stop an offender from drinking and driving is to require them to blow into an ignition interlock device to start their vehicle.
Because this man decided to continue to drive on a suspended license, he won’t have the opportunity to drive with an ignition interlock device. He also won’t have the opportunity to do anything other than sit in a cell, because he’ll be going to jail for four years and two months.
Driving on a suspended license, whether you’re in Nova Scotia or anywhere else in Canada, is a bad idea. If you have the option to sign up for the ignition interlock program instead of waiting out your drivers license suspension, your best option is to do so. That way you can continue driving safely and not end up having to endure harsher penalties if you ever made the choice to drive on a suspended license.