When you receive an impaired driving conviction, you can count on the fact that you’ll have penalties to deal with. Under strict new impaired driving laws, Saskatchewan first offenders can now have their vehicles impounded, receive an immediate license suspension, and must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
But did you know Saskatchewan also has a voluntary ignition interlock program? Under the mandatory program, offenders are required to follow a judge’s order to use an ignition interlock device for a period of time. The voluntary ignition interlock program is something drivers in the province can take advantage of if they are arrested for impaired driving, receive a conviction for their offense, but haven’t been ordered by a judge to install the device.
Why would someone voluntarily participate in an ignition interlock program? Anyone who is convicted of impaired driving will automatically lose their license for a minimum period of time, but they may have the need to receive a restricted license and begin driving again as soon as possible. Take drivers in the graduated licensing program for example – under Saskatchewan impaired driving laws, if a driver under the age of 19 is stopped for drinking and driving they will immediately lose their license for a period of 60 days. In this case, the driver may ask to install an ignition interlock in order to get back on the road again for work or school.
If a driver in Saskatchewan voluntarily participates in the ignition interlock program, the interlock device must stay in their vehicle for the same term as if it was mandatory. For first offenders, the mandatory time period to use the interlock is one year.
Ignition interlock devices are designed to stop people from getting behind the wheel after drinking. Drivers who voluntarily install the device show the desire to stay safe while on the roads and put their days of drinking and driving behind them.