Road safety is the name of the game in Canada, and if the increasing use of ignition interlock devices is any indication, provinces are working hard to get to a point where crashes caused by impaired drivers are a thing of the past.
Take Ontario impaired driving laws for example – ignition interlock devices are now required for all offenders charged with impaired driving under the Criminal Code of Canada or for people who have been suspended for having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the warn range of .05 to .08 three or more times within a 5 year period.
British Columbia has an ignition interlock program that includes drivers who receive an alcohol related restriction under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Motor Vehicle Act of British Columbia. If the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles decides to refer you to the ignition interlock program, you’ll have to install the device even if you’re a first time offender.
In Alberta, a first impaired driving offense will net you a range of penalties including fines, license suspensions and vehicle seizures, but you’ll also be required to install an interlock device for 1 year after you’ve been criminally convicted.
The province with one of the worst impaired driving records in the entire country has one of the strictest ignition interlock programs. Saskatchewan requires all convicted impaired drivers to install an ignition interlock device, and if you refuse to provide a breath sample when stopped for suspected drunk driving, you’ll also lose your license and be required to install an interlock device for one year.
All across Canada, the number of ignition interlock devices in use has doubled. In 2007 there were 11,300 interlock devices installed, but by 2012 there were 26,800. If you take British Columbia as an example, you’ll see interlock devices and strict impaired driving laws are working – in the past year, impaired driving crashes have dropped by 21% in the province.
Ignition interlock devices work as a deterrent for impaired drivers, and they’re the only device that can stop a drunk driver from driving, period. If you’re required to install an ignition interlock as part of an impaired driving conviction, take a look at Lifesafer’s Ignition Interlock location page and find a service center near you.