Public Safety Minister Stephen Horsman says he will work with MADD Canada to improve province's poor ranking

The Department of Public Safety will be moving forward with mandatory ignition interlock legislation for impaired drivers.

The ignition interlock technology is similar to a breathalyzer and prevents a driver from starting the car without a clean breath sample.

The ignition interlock technology is similar to a breathalyzer and prevents the driver from starting the car without a clean breath sample. (CBC News)

New Brunswick is one of the few provinces where the technology isn't already mandatory for all federal impaired driving offenders.

The legislation has yet to be drafted, but Public Safety Minister Stephen Horsman said the provincial government has been consulting with stakeholders, such as MADD and police agencies. 

Horsman said the provincial government has already said a law will also be strengthened in relation to drug-impaired driving and that it be proceeding with mandatory ignition interlock.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving recently rated the provinces on how they deal with impaired driving. New Brunswick not only got a failing grade, but it tied with Quebec for last place in the rankings.

Andrew Murie, the chief executive officer for MADD Canada, said New Brunswick's legislation on impaired driving needs to be stronger.

"New Brunswick has not had a lot of action on impaired driving provincially in quite a number of years and so consequently they've fallen way behind the leaders in the impaired driving field," said Murie.

Horsman unhappy with grade

New Brunswick's public safety minister said he is not happy with that failing grade and said the provincial government needs to do more.

Public Safety Minister Stephen Horsman said he will work with MADD Canada to bring up New Brunswick's poor ranking. (CBC)

He has met with MADD Canada and said he would work closely with the organization to improve the provincial government's policies on impaired driving penalties. 

"As a former police officer, I am very familiar with the tragic consequences of impaired driving. Obviously, our government is not happy with a grade of F in the report," Horsman said in a statement.

"New Brunswick law has been strengthened many times to deal with impaired driving more effectively and police and the Crown are very aggressive in addressing impaired driving, yet impaired driving is still the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. Clearly, we need to do more."

The minister said his department is considering all the other recommendations outlined in the MADD report.

MADD's Murie said he is optimistic about the New Brunswick government's approach to improving rules around drug-impaired driving and a mandatory ignition interlock.

"We hope, we've had some very encouraging meetings with the new government, that changes are on the way and we suspect New Brunswick would improve their score next time around," he said.

MADD's provincial rankings come out every three years.

The changes to the law are expected in late 2015 or early 2016.

Source: CBC News New Brunswick


Last updated on: 2015-07-20 | Link to this post