Among Nova Scotia’s DUI offenders are those who have had their driver’s licences revoked for life. It’s an extremely severe penalty reserved for certain motorists who have committed a series of infractions. Now some Nova Scotians with lifetime revocations may be able to drive again — with an ignition interlock.
Allowing reinstatement of some multiple offenders is one of the proposed changes to the province’s Motor Vehicle Act. We’ve mentioned other planned amendments before, but this one could have a profound effect on many lives.
No one has suggested that every multiple offender will have his or her licenses reinstated — each case will be carefully considered. The bill under consideration would create what is called a faint-hope clause. Offenders will be allowed to reapply for a licence under certain circumstances, and it might be granted if proper conditions are met.
Reinstatement Will Require Ignition Interlock
Among the safeguards that are certain to be required for reinstatement will be ignition interlocks. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. Requiring an ignition interlock removes the risk to the public.
Why is Nova Scotia considering this change? Haven’t multiple DUI offenders demonstrated that they are incorrigible?
A number of offenders have come forward claiming they have turned their lives around, and the legislature is ready to give them a chance. This is eminently fair. Without a licence, people are prevented from participating in many aspects of life: driving children to school and events, taking certain jobs, shopping in out-of-the-way areas. With an ignition interlock and a proper vetting process, a number of worthy people will be able to get their lives back to normal.
The men and women of the Nova Scotia legislature are to be commended for understanding that there are few things in life as rare, or valuable, as a second chance.