The jury is still out on whether the new Saskatchewan impaired driving laws will turn the province’s drunk driving record around, but some cities aren’t waiting around to find out. After only a month of the new regulations, Estevan, a city in Northern Saskatchewan, is pulling out a few stops of their own.
Police Chief Paul Ladoucer wants to take the Canadian Criminal Code and use it to stop drunk drivers in a more permanent way. One subsection of the code allows for the vehicles of a drunk driver to be permanently seized, and although it’s been used in Quebec back in 2013, it’s not a common practice in Canada.
Ladoucer wants to change that. He’s gone to the Attorney General to see if it will work in Estevan, and in doing so he feels as though the city will see a drastic reduction in drunk driving.
In addition to the latest changes to Saskatchewan impaired driving laws, vehicle seizures would definitely put a stop to a repeat offender’s ability to drive, but some feel as though vehicle seizures are a drastic step to take and should only be used as a last resort. A better solution for both the offender and police are ignition interlocks.
When a repeat offender is required to use an ignition interlock and that person tries to drink, the vehicle won’t start. That means it’s as good as having it impounded because unless you’re sober, it’s not going to move from where it’s parked. It’s not permanent in the way that taking away a vehicle would be, and it’s more effective because an offender could just borrow another vehicle and continue to drive drunk. With an interlock, life goes on as it normally would because that person can still drive as long as he or she drives sober.
When January 1st rolled around Saskatchewan became the province with one of the strongest ignition interlock laws in the entire country. Any repeat offender who continues to drink and drive will be required to drive with an ignition interlock for ten years, and unlike permanent vehicle impounding, interlocks are a win-win for both law enforcement and offenders in the province.