Canada is a massive country, although it might not seem that way given that there are only 10 provinces and 3 territories filling the 9,984,670 sq. km. However far they are spaced out, these provinces and territories crack down on drunk drivers using both the Criminal Code of Canada and independent provincial impaired driving laws. As such, each province has its own customized ignition interlock program.
Take the British Columbia ignition interlock program as an example. It’s now a mandatory program for anyone convicted of impaired driving in the province. Under the program guidelines, the driver will lose his or her driver’s license and may be required to complete the Responsible Driver Program before they’re eligible to install the ignition interlock. If the driver doesn’t agree with the ignition interlock penalty, they’re out of luck. There’s no venue to dispute a referral to the ignition interlock program if you’re convicted of drunk driving.
It used to be that drivers in BC would only be required to enter the ignition interlock program if the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles recommended it. Although it’s now mandatory, the Superintendent can still make a recommendation for a case that falls outside of an impaired driving charge. Maybe that person has a poor driving record where they’ve accumulated multiple points on their driver’s license, or they could be referred to the program if his or her driving is seen as a threat to public safety.
Once a driver installs a British Columbia ignition interlock, he or she is required to abide by all of the conditions in the program and attend to a maintenance schedule that ensures compliance and makes sure the device is in good working order. If everything goes well and the person doesn’t record any violations, the Superintendent will recommend that the ignition interlock will be removed at the end of the program.
The British Columbia ignition interlock program is one of the most effective penalties available for impaired drivers, and because it ensures all drunk drivers are taken off the roads, it’s the best step the province can take to maintain road safety.