Anyone who has received an impaired driving conviction knows it is a lot to deal with, and the penalties you receive can be overwhelming. The offender probably knows they shouldn’t have made the choice to drink and drive, and if they managed to do so without injuring themselves or killing someone else, the penalties they’ll receive may seem like a small price to pay.
But if the offender is a repeat offender and they’ve made the choice to drink and drive many times, he or she may be one of the people in Canada who have had their driver’s licenses revoked for a lifetime. Although the punishment fits the crime, it may feel like a bitter pill to swallow, and in cases like these people can make the unfortunate choice to drive on a suspended license. That’s something Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) wants to stop, and they plan to do so by working with the Transportation Minister to reinstate an impaired driver’s license.
Beginning April 1st, 2015, convicted impaired drivers in Nova Scotia who have had their driver’s license suspended for life can apply to have it reinstated under the ‘Faint Hope Clause.’ Reinstatement is not guaranteed, but if the offender is successful in their application, they will be continuously monitored via an ignition interlock program for a period of 5 years.
The ignition interlock program would be a welcome alternative to the 10 years to lifetime driver’s license suspension offenders will receive if charged with a repeat offense in Nova Scotia. Repeat impaired driving offenders will pay also fines up to $2,000, must serve jail time of at least 90 days, and complete an Alcohol/Drug Dependency assessment program.
With an ignition interlock device installed, repeat offenders can continue to drive to work, school, and anywhere else they need to go. All they need to do keep their ignition interlock privilege is to drive sober, and that’s a small price to pay for getting on with your life.