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January 29, 2015
For immediate release
Impaired driving numbers continue to drop
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
The number of convictions for impaired driving continues to fall, decreasing by nearly 20 per cent from the previous year, says Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey.
“Tougher legislation, increased public awareness and partnerships with local law enforcement are sending the message that this senseless crime will not be tolerated,” said the minister. “Although we have made progress, we will continue to work with our partners to take impaired drivers off our roads.”
In 2014 there were 241 impaired driving convictions. This is down from 297 in 2013. The number of convictions has been steadily decreasing, even as public awareness campaigns encouraging Islanders to report impaired drivers have been increasing.
In 1980, there were 1,570 drivers convicted of impaired driving in Prince Edward Island.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has strengthened legislation and increased public awareness campaigns to help keep impaired drivers off Island roads.
A summit held in 2013 was hosted by the department to meet with Island law enforcement, MADD Canada, and justice officials, among others, to find ways to combat impaired driving.
Since that summit, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has made some significant changes, including:
• Mandatory ignition interlock for first-time offenders and increasing the time repeat offenders must use the device;
• Impounding the vehicles of impaired drivers for longer;
• New suspensions for drivers impaired by drugs;
• A special license and license plate to assist law enforcement in identifying repeat offers; and
• Increased public awareness campaigns, including encouraging Islanders to call 9-1-1 to report impaired drivers.