News release

Province Gets Tough on Impaired Drivers with Child Passengers

The province is introducing new tough penalties for people convicted of impaired driving when children under the age of 16 are in the vehicle.

"Nova Scotians expect their government to take the necessary steps to protect children," said Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "By creating penalties for those who choose to drive impaired with child passengers, we are making life better and safer for Nova Scotia families."

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will increase the time a driver's licence is revoked by adding another 12 months on top of current penalties. First-time offenders will also be required to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program. The minimum requirement of participation in the program will increase by 12 months for all offenders.

"Impaired driving is a leading cause of fatalities and injuries on Nova Scotia roads," said Justice Minister Ross Landry. "As a father and former police officer, I have seen first-hand why we need to continue to take steps like this to get impaired drivers off our roads."

While a number of states have child endangerment laws that criminalize impaired drivers with child passengers, Manitoba is currently the only province to have such penalties.

"With these new penalties and the alcohol ignition interlock program requirement, the government of Nova Scotia is taking important steps to help keep children safe from impaired driving," said MADD Canada past national president Margaret Miller. "MADD Canada commends the province for these significant additions to its impaired driving laws."

The province has taken important steps through legislation, education and enforcement to get impaired drivers off Nova Scotia roads including the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program, Operation Christmas, Campaign 911 and increased penalties for those who drive with a blood alcohol level between .05 and .08.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is introducing tough new penalties for people convicted of impaired driving when children under the age of 16 are in the vehicle.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks says by creating penalties for those who choose to drive impaired with child passengers, government is making life better and safer for Nova Scotia families.

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will increase the time a driver's licence is revoked by adding another 12 months on top of the current penalty. First-time offenders will also be required to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program. The minimum requirement of participation in the program will increase by 12 months for all offenders.

-30-

Media Contact:

Lindsay Lewis
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal 902-424-3289 E-mail: