Nov 23, 2013 - SPECIAL LICENCE PLATES FOR DRUNK DRIVERS WILL BE DISCREET: VESSEY [PEI]


Special licence plates for drunk drivers with multiple convictions are likely coming soon to Prince Edward Island, but they will not be the scarlet letter many may have feared.

P.E.I. Transportation Minister Robert Vessey says the plates would only be recognizable to law enforcement officials patrolling Island highways.

“We’re still working on the exact details around it, but it would look no different than your plate or mine,” he said in a recent interview with The Guardian.

“It would have a sequence on it, either a letter or a number of a combination of both that would identify to law enforcement that this vehicle is registered to someone who is a several-time offender.”

Vessey says this would give police officers another tool in their efforts to curb the ongoing problem of impaired driving in Canada’s smallest province.

Data from Statistics Canada shows Prince Edward Island had one of highest rates of impaired driving in the country in 2011. In the same year, impaired driving cases represented one- quarter of all cases disposed of in criminal courts – the highest of any other jurisdiction.

Another startling statistic - since 2008, 40 percent of impaired drivers in P.E.I. were repeat offenders.

It’s this problem the special licence plate is aimed at tackling. It’s not meant to publicly identify or shame drivers who have been caught drinking and driving.

“When it first came out, the story was carried in local and national media that it was a ‘scarlet letter.’ That was never the intent. The intent is to give law enforcement an extra tool in their tool box to get some of these repeat offenders off our highways.”

Vessey says details of the new licence plate and how it would work re still under review.

It will likely be for drivers with three or more impaired driving convictions.

One provision also under consideration could see police given the authority to pull over drivers with an impaired driving plate even if they have not broken any rules of the road.

But Vessey says there is still a lot of work to do in drafting the legislation. He hopes to introduce it in the spring.

“We want to have good debate and good discussion on it to make sure it does what it’s set out to do.”

Source: The Guardian PEI

 

RELATED STORY: P.E.I.  mulls slapping special license plates on cars of convicted drunk drivers


 

Last updated on: 2013-11-25 | Link to this post