Well, last year Prince Edward Island introduced coded plates that let police know that the driver is a repeat DUI offender. But no, this is another kind of DUI license plate.
A Monckton lawyer named Wendell Maxwell has personalized licence plates that read DUI DR. He is a specialist in drunk driving cases.
Some people complained, including the family of a drunk driving victim. The plates were seized by the police, and Mr. Maxwell had to sue to get them back. But New Brunswick is appealing the decision. Apparently, they really don’t like the idea of a lawyer driving around with the letters “DUI” on his car.
The case has already cost the province a lot of money, and it’s not clear what exactly would be gained if Maxwell is forced to switch plates. Everyone is entitled to a defence in court, and some people make a living at it.
The crime of DUI is not in the initials; it’s in the act of endangering people and property by driving a lethal machine when not in a condition to do so safely. It might be better to save the outrage for drunk drivers.
A better use of the state’s money and effort might be to beef up New Brunswick’s drunk driving efforts, and in particular, its ignition interlock laws. Currently, New Brunwick has an F Rating from MADD Canada, in part due to inadequate ignition interlock (car breathalyzer) requirements for offenders. New Brunswick also does not automatically suspend licences or impound the vehicles of drunk drivers.
We’re all for respecting the feelings of victims, but first, let’s see that the drivers that create those victims are prevented from getting behind the wheel.