Public Safety

Government implements new measures against drinking and driving (08/09/05)

NB 1268

Sept. 5, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Government is sending a message that drinking and driving will not be tolerated, and the consequences of doing so will be immediate.

As of Sept. 8, all drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of more than .08 per cent, or who refuse to provide a blood or breath sample, will be subject to a three-month administrative licence suspension. This measure is in addition to the licence suspension resulting from an impaired driving conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada, and the 24-hour roadside suspension provided for under the Motor Vehicle Act.

Police will also have authority to stop vehicles, demand documentation from drivers, and conduct field sobriety tests to determine whether there is evidence of impairment.

"Impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death in Canada, and our government has identified it as a top priority for making New Brunswick highways safer," said John W. Foran, minister of public safety and solicitor general. "These measures, as well as establishment of the ignition interlock program that will become operational in coming weeks, will assist us in preventing impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and causing injury to others."

Chief Barry MacKnight, president of the New Brunswick Association of Chiefs of Police, commended the government's action.

"This enhanced authority will enable our province's police officers to more effectively combat drinking and driving," MacKnight said. "I am confident that these new tools will prevent injuries and save lives."

The Government of New Brunswick is committed to Road Safety Vision 2010, a strategy to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our highways by 30 per cent, and to make Canada's roads the safest in the world by 2010.

08/09/05

MEDIA CONTACT: Chrystiane Mallaley, media relations, Public Safety, 506-444-5267.

08/09/05