You should never drink and drive, but if you’re in or around Nova Scotia this summer and you are considering getting behind the wheel after even one drink, think again: beginning with a kick off on Victoria Day and continuing throughout the rest of the summer, the police in Nova Scotia are focused on stopping all impaired drivers. The penalties they’re dishing out make it worth it to drive sober.
Victoria Day in May is always considered the kick off to summer, but that’s when Halifax police began setting up checkpoints. That May weekend alone they arrested 6 impaired drivers in the city. Fast forward one month to the end of June and police arrested 45 people for impaired driving, with 28 men and 17 women providing breath samples that were up to 3 times the legal limit of .08. 22 of these people were arrested at checkpoints, while 16 people were called in by citizens who spotted impaired drivers.
The province of Nova Scotia has been battling impaired drivers for a long time, and although they’ve stepped up their checkpoints and awareness campaigns, they’ve still got a consistent impaired driving problem. In 2013 there were 995 people charged with impaired driving, and 2014 was much the same, with 1,023 people charged.
Anyone charged for impaired driving in Nova Scotia is up for serious penalties. The province levies a fine ranging from $600 to $2,000, the driver must complete an Addiction/Drug Dependency Services assessment, and you may be required to take all of your driver’s tests over again. For a first offense, the driver will also lose his or her license for a period of one year from the date of conviction, not the date of arrest.
A driver in Nova Scotia may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle he or she drives if it is his or her second conviction. If it’s a first conviction, that driver may voluntarily install an ignition interlock device so he or she can drive during their time of suspension.
Police out in full force, concerned drivers on the lookout, and penalties to make you think twice about drinking and driving: it all adds up to a province working to stop impaired drivers in their tracks.