Drinking and driving enforcers get new tools

Police on the Island now have new equipment to help them fight impaired driving, said the P.E.I. government.

P.E.I. government introduced big changes to drunk driving laws last year

Police on the Island now have new, more accurate breathalyzers to help them fight impaired driving.

The provincial government said because of the old breathalyzer's margin of error, police could only lay impaired driving charges if a person's test read 0.1 alcohol. The legal limit is .08

The new breathalyzers will allow officers to charge with a reading of .09

That's good news according to Transportation Minister Robert Vessey.

“We are seeing the number of repeat offenders of driving offences is not going down, on average over the past five years, second and third time offenders represent over 40 per cent of all impaired driving convictions on our highways,” he said.

Police began charging at the lower readings on Nov. 1.

It adds to a list of drunk driving law changes.

Since last year:

  • All first time offenders must have ignition interlocks in their vehicles. The devices won't allow the vehicle to start if alcohol is detected on the driver's breath.
  • Offenders caught with children under 16-years-old in the vehicle will have to use the ignition–breathalyzer program for two years.
  • Tougher rules regarding impounding vehicles have been introduced.

Recent statistics show P.E.I. had more drunk driving incidents per capita last year than any other province in Atlantic Canada.


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