FREDERICTON (GNB) – Starting Nov. 1, new tools will be available under the Motor Vehicle Act to strengthen the ability to identify and deter alcohol-impaired driving.

“We have listened to New Brunswickers and the message is clear. Impaired driving costs lives and shatters families,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry. “I am pleased that our province will be among the toughest jurisdictions in Canada with respect to dealing with alcohol-impaired drivers.”

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations 83-42 and 2008-109 will include:

  • an extension of the look-back period for a driver’s abstract from seven years to 10 years, and short-term licence suspensions will be recorded on the driver’s abstract;
  • escalating sanctions on short-term licence suspensions;
  • an increase in driver’s licence reinstatement fees;
  • the creation of a vehicle impoundment program for impaired drivers;
  • the creation of a mandatory alcohol ignition interlock device program; and
  • a 24-hour roadside suspension for driver unfitness, providing law enforcement the authority to temporarily remove drivers from the road.

“Impaired driving takes far too many lives and it is something that can be easily avoided,” said Erin Norwood, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island manager of government relations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “Property and casualty insurers are committed to working with governments across Canada to reduce impaired driving and to keep our roads safe for everyone. IBC fully supports the amendments and the Government of New Brunswick is to be commended.”

“MADD Canada welcomes the implementation of these important changes,” said Susan MacAskill, MADD CANADA chapter services manager for the Atlantic region. “Effective laws serve as a powerful deterrent to those who might otherwise drive impaired. These changes significantly enhance the province’s laws and they will reduce impaired driving, save lives and prevent injuries.”

“We hope these new measures will serve as a deterrent so that people will think twice before getting behind the wheel while impaired. This is about saving lives,” said Landry. “Every New Brunswicker has a responsibility to keep our roads and highways safe. If you drink, plan ahead for a safe ride home.”