It starts with a news item: a drunk driver causes injury on a highway in Manitoba. Or a man in Ontario faces his fifth DUI conviction.
Usually a suspension does follow. And then, before you know it, the driver is back in the news with another DUI offense.
Revoking one’s driver’s license sounds like a good solution for drunk driving. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Studies show that half to three-quarters of drivers whose licenses have been suspended drive anyway. Taking away a piece of paper doesn’t prevent a lot of people from driving drunk and endangering the public.
Ignition interlocks are the only solution that works on repeat DUI offenders with suspended licenses. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, is a device attached to a vehicle that prevents it from starting when the driver has been drinking.
It might seem counterintuitive to allow a DUI offender to drive after breaking the law. But statistics don’t lie: when ignition interlocks are mandated for all DUI offenses, alcohol-related crashes decline.
Interlock laws vary by province. Some have no mandatory interlock requirement, and others require an interlock for all DUI convictions. The latter are the ones that are tackling the problem of drunk driving realistically and making roads safer for all Canadians.