Quebec just blew Ontario out of the water when it comes to drunk driving penalties.
This week, a new law came into effect there that forces repeat drunk drivers to use a breathalyzer for the rest of their lives.
By comparison, drivers in Ontario who are convicted of drunk driving twice in ten years need to use a breathalyzer for at least three years.
The new law comes into effect Monday, according to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). People convicted of drunk driving twice in one decade will need to blow into the machine every time they start their car to prove they haven’t been drinking — for life.
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In Quebec, drivers will have their licences branded, so any intercepting officials will know to inspect the driver’s ignition for an interlock device, a piece of installable equipment that prevents a vehicle from starting unless a legal BAC starts it.
Drivers with a branded licence will not be able to use any other car unless the interlock device is installed.
According to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), alcohol-related road incidents cause 100 deaths each year, 220 serious injuries, and 1,800 minor injuries.
Drivers who are caught without the interlock device will be fined $1,500, have their vehicles impounded for 30 days, and have their licence suspended for three months.
“Although road safety is improving in Quebec, accidents caused by drinking and driving are still causing too many deaths each year,” stated François Bonnardel, Minister of Transport of Quebec the Estrie region. “With this new measure … we are sending a clear message to motorists and repeat offenders: driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is unacceptable.”