Oakville/Ontario –  New impaired driving countermeasures, introduced by New Brunswick Public Safety Minister Stephen Horsman today, will substantially reduce impaired driving in the province, says MADD Canada.

“These changes represent a significant commitment to address the impaired driving problem in New Brunswick, and they send a strong message that this crime will not be tolerated,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. “We thank the Government of New Brunswick and Minister Horsman for their leadership and action on this issue.”

The changes announced today include:

Addition of vehicle impoundments to the province’s current licence suspension program for drivers with BACs in the warn range (between .05% and .08% BAC), and vehicle impoundment provisions for novice drivers.

Making alcohol ignition interlocks a mandatory condition of relicencing for all drivers convicted of a federal impaired driving offence.

Addition of escalating roadside licence suspensions for drivers with repeat infractions in the warn range.

Introducing a 24-hour suspension for drivers who are found to be unfit to drive.

Many of the changes announced today were among the legislative measures MADD Canada recommended to New Brunswick in the 2015 Provincial Impaired Driving Report, released in June. The report grades provinces on the strength and effectiveness of their impaired driving laws.

New Brunswick ranked lowest among all provinces and scored a failing grade on that report. At the time, Minister Horsman indicated the province was not satisfied with that outcome and made a commitment to improving impaired driving laws in the province.

“The changes announced by Minister Horsman today will place New Brunswick among the provincial leaders with respect to strong and effective impaired driving legislation,” said Mr. Murie.

The vehicle impoundment has become a particularly important component of provincial legislation, thanks to the dramatic impact it has on impaired driving rates and related fatalities. In 2010, British Columbia became the first province to include vehicle impoundments in its warn-range and roadside licence suspension program. The province has seen a 50% decrease in alcohol-related road fatalities since then. Alberta saw a similar decrease after introducing its impoundment program in 2012. Saskatchewan has also recently added a vehicle impoundment component to its warn-range licence suspension program.

In 2010, the latest year for which comprehensive national data is available, New Brunswick had 54 impairment-related road deaths. On a per population basis, the province had 7.17 impairment-related road deaths for every 100,000 people. That rate is more double the Canadian average of 3.17 impairment-related road deaths for every 100,000 people.

About MADD Canada

MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. To learn more, visit  www.madd.ca.

For more information, contact:

Andrew Murie, MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer, 1-800-665-6233, ext. 224 or 416-720-7642,  amurie@madd.ca

Susan MacAskill, MADD Canada Chapter Services Manager, Atlantic Region, 902-798-0912 or 902-799-0498,  atlantic@madd.ca