Canada Tests New IID Pilot Program
Two communities in Northern Canada are the latest to implement a new pilot program for ignition interlock devices. Headed by the NWT Department of Transportation, the Alcohol Interlock Ignition Program is pending approval by Michael Conway, registrar of Motor vehicles, and should be in place in Hay River within the next 3 to 6 months.
The Hay River and Yellowknife locations were selected for the Alcohol Interlock Ignition Program for a few reasons. Statistics data shows that in 2012, the North West Territories and Yukon have the highest drunk driving rates in Canada. 40 drivers have been charged with impaired driving in Hay River each single year, with 7 individuals already charged in the first 3 months of 2013. Plus, Hay River is located close to other communities and has a large business base, which puts a large amount of people in danger from intoxicated drivers on the road.
If convicted individuals volunteer for the Interlock Ignition Program, they can reduce their driving prohibition and are able to get back to work more quickly than if they choose not to install an IID. Other jurisdictions in Canada have seen a reduction in drunk driving from 50 to 90 per cent with this program, and it’s the hope of the Hay River and Yellowknife communities that they will see a similar drop in impaired driving.