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Ford government brings new rules for people guilty of impaired driving in Ontario

Ontario, Canada: Ontario is planning to introduce a series of new measures for those found guilty of impaired driving in the province, including ignition interlock devices and lifetime driving bans.

The Ford government unveiled the proposed measures on Wednesday as part of a crackdown on license suspensions, which will also include measures for stunt driving and auto theft.

“Everyone deserves to return home to their loved ones safely at the end of the day,” Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria said in a statement. “Too many families in Ontario have had their lives torn apart by the careless and shameful actions of impaired drivers.”

One of the measures to be included in the upcoming new legislation is a lifetime driving ban for people found guilty of impaired driving causing death.

Those charged with a first impaired driving offense will have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle and undergo mandatory training, the province said.

The government stated that one in three deaths on Ontario roads involve impaired driving. Additionally, a 2022 study found that one in five drivers stopped were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.

According to the government, the proposed legislation would also “increase immediate roadside license suspensions for first and second-time alcohol and drug-related offenses” and “clarify” the rules allowing police to stop vehicles for sobriety tests.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) commended the proposed legislation in a statement distributed by the government.

“Despite progress, too many people are still making the choice to drive impaired, and we need to ensure sanctions hold drivers accountable while focusing on reducing recidivism,” Steve Sullivan, CEO of MADD Canada, said.

The planned new impaired driving rules come as the Ford government prepares to unveil a proposed new bill, which will also include rules for license suspensions for people found guilty of auto theft.

On Tuesday, Minister Sarkaria announced that car thieves convicted with an aggravating factor like violence could be subject to escalating license suspensions. Someone found guilty three times, the government said, would face the possibility of a lifetime driving ban. The legislation is expected to be tabled on Thursday.


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