New Brunswick has finally jumped on board with new impaired driving laws. Scheduled take effect on November 1st, these new impaired driving laws include mandatory ignition interlocks, warn range violations, and vehicle impounding. It’s been a long road to get to this point in the province, but after you look at the recent drunk driving stats you’ll think these laws are coming not a moment too soon.
According to New Brunswick RCMP there were 64 people killed on New Brunswick roads last year. That number is up from 58 the year before and 50 the year before that.
Thankfully the number of impaired driving crashes causing death declined slightly, going from 20 crashes in 2016 to 17 in 2017. That could be because RCMP were out in full force and conducted 5,000 check stops, stopped almost 260,000 vehicles, and arrested 890 people for impaired driving. 316 of those drivers also received roadside suspensions.
That’s a lot of drivers checked for impaired driving, and one of the theories as to why so many people drink and drive in New Brunswick is because a lack of public transportation in rural areas. Just like Saskatchewan, New Brunswick has many under-serviced areas where the only transportation is by car. Because they have no other option, people who have been drinking may be opting to just take their chances.
With new impaired driving laws in New Brunswick, the idea of just taking a chance and driving drunk is going to lose its appeal. If you’re stopped for drunk driving after November 1st you’ll be required to install an ignition interlock in any vehicle you drive and you could lose your vehicle for up to two months. Even if you aren’t over .08, you could still be charged for a warn range violation.
Thanks to the changes, RCMP in New Brunswick are probably looking forward to a drastic decrease in impaired driving and safer roads in the province. Let’s hope next year’s stats show just how well these new laws work.