Special P.E.I. licence plates for convicted drunk drivers would be marked for police to recognize, not the general public, says Transportation Minister Robert Vessey.

Robert Vessey - custom

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey (CBC)

Vessey said the plates are intended to help police with enforcement. They will look like any other plate, but will have an identifying letter or number sequence to tip off police patrolling the roads.

"To give that plate a second look or follow it another half mile just to make sure that this person is abiding by the rules of the road and no signs of impairment," said Vessey.

Forty per cent of impaired driving convictions handed out on P.E.I. go to repeat offenders, and the marked plates could help put a stop to that problem, he added.

The proposed change in legislation would impact third-time offenders who use the ignition interlock system. After five years of using the interlock, offenders would have a choice of another year of interlock or using the plate.

Vessey said he wants the legislation to change soon but doesn't know exactly when it will happen.