New Brunswick to introduce new impaired driving laws to impound vehicles

Published: October 23, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



New Brunswick will introduce new legislation that allows authorities to seize drink drivers’ cars for two months, starting Nov. 1.

Speaking last week, Public Safety Minister Denis Landry said the law will allow the province to fight against impaired driving and will make New Brunswick amongst the toughest provinces on impaired driving.

Once the legislation is in place, convicted drunk driving offenders will see their vehicle impounded for two months and will also have a mandatory ignition interlock on their vehicle when it is returned. The interlock works like a Breathalyzer, and will not allow a vehicle to be started if the driver is over the limit.

Under New Brunswick’s new laws, longer suspensions will also be handed to drivers with a blood alcohol level within the warning range of 0.05 and 0.08. Importantly, suspensions will now remain on a driving record.

Erin Norwood of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says the law is an important step.

“If you drink and drive, you will face severe penalties. Your car may be seized, you may be arrested, charged and sent to jail. On top of that your insurance premiums may increase dramatically,” she said.

Further abilities given to police officers will include the discretion to suspend a driver for 24 hours if safety is in doubt. MADD Canada is a leading organization in combatting impaired driving in the country, and MADD’s Danielle Cole says taking vehicles away from drivers is a good decision:

 “Looking back at B.C., they imposed impoundment in 2010 and it reduced impaired driving crashes by 50 per cent. The same was done in Alberta and it reduced crashes by 43 per cent,” she said.