Impaired driving laws are set to change in New Brunswick.

Widely regarded as having some of the most lenient laws in the country, the government says it wants police officers to be able to use their own discretion in pulling questionable drivers off the road, as well as tracking drivers who are caught just below the legal limit.

“We’re giving police officers the power to suspend drivers for 24 hours if they can’t determine what the situation is with their driving abilities,” says Stephen Horsman, public safety minister.

Drivers who are found to be operating a vehicle just below the legal limit will now be tracked.

“So, for people who get caught today and blow a warning, they’re given a seven day suspension,” says Horsman. “So we’re going to start capturing that, so if they do it again, a stiffer penalty, do it again, a stiffer penalty.”

The announcement hits close to home for Kali O’Dell and Danielle Cole, who have been waiting years to see a New Brunswick government bring forth tougher regulations on impaired driving.

“We’re both kind of in shock,” says Cole. “My two daughters and I, they were three and five at the time, and myself were struck by an impaired driver on Dec. 8, 2012.”

Kali O'Dell's parents were killed by a drunk driver in 2006, her brother was badly injured.

“About five minutes from home an impaired driver crossed the yellow line in the road and hit us head on,” says O’Dell.

Both O'Dell and Cole say the changes will make a difference.

“Our province needed this and it feels great,” says Cole. “We’ll be one of the leading provinces.”

O’Dell says the new law that makes it mandatory for drivers who've been convicted federally of impaired driving to have alcohol ignition interlocks is a huge step forward.

“It won’t start, so the car won't turn on, so you physically cannot drive impaired,” says O’Dell.

Source: CTV News New Brunswick


Last updated on: 2016-01-04 | Link to this post