In Saskatchewan, impaired driving remains a significant concern, causing numerous accidents, injuries, and fatalities each year. In response to this, the provincial government has implemented the Ignition Interlock Program to enhance road safety and reduce alcohol-related driving offences.
What Is the Ignition Interlock Program?
The Ignition Interlock Program is a mandatory requirement for drivers convicted of an alcohol-related driving offence or those who have received an administrative licence suspension due to impaired driving. The program requires participants to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles, which prevents the engine from starting if the driver has consumed alcohol.
How Does it Work?
An IID is a breathalyser-like device connected to a vehicle's ignition system. Before starting the engine, the driver must provide a breath sample by blowing into the device. If any amount of alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start. The device also requires random retests while driving to ensure that the driver remains sober throughout the trip.
Who is Eligible?
The Ignition Interlock Device is required for those with multiple administrative roadside suspensions or a Criminal Code impaired driving conviction. Participants must also complete any mandatory assessments, treatments, or education programs, pay all fees and fines, and hold a valid Saskatchewan driver's licence or be eligible for reinstatement.
How Long Does it Last?
The number of offences determines both eligibility and the length of time the device must be installed. To regain full driving privileges, the device must be installed for the entire ignition interlock term. The term begins when the ignition interlock restricted driver's licence is validated at a motor licence issuer and requires the licence to be active and without suspensions. By adhering to these requirements and successfully completing the program, individuals can work towards regaining their full driving privileges.
Penalties for Ignition Interlock Device Violations
If you fail to maintain an alcohol infraction-free, program violation-free, and device tampering-free record during your last three months in the program, your term will be extended by a minimum of three months from the anticipated removal date.
If the device is removed prior to the successful completion of the program, your driver's licence will be suspended from the date originally designated for removal.
Participants in the Ignition Interlock Program are responsible for all costs associated with the Ignition Interlock Device, including:
- Installation fees
- Monthly rental and monitoring fees
- Device removal fees
- Additional fees for any service, maintenance, or calibration appointments
An itemised list of program fees can be found on Smart Start Canada’s website.
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