Impaired driving penalties increase

Penalties for impaired driving are increasing.

The penalties for impaired driving in Prince Edward Island will become stricter starting tomorrow (September 16).

Amendments to the province’s Highway Traffic Act extend vehicle impoundments, increase some ignition interlock terms, add licence suspensions to a driving record, and toughen rules for younger drivers.

“Prince Edward Island has the highest conviction rate and the harshest punishments for impaired drivers in Canada, but there is always more we can do as a province to get to zero impaired driving incidents, zero injuries and zero collisions,” Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar said. “These changes are another step forward in our government’s commitment to improving safety on Island roads through education, enforcement, highway design, and legislation.”

Changes to the act will:

  • allow vehicle impoundments for roadside driving suspensions and for impaired driving convictions;
  • increase the minimum mandatory ignition interlock term for those convicted of a second impaired driving offence to three years and five years, based on blood alcohol levels;
  • allow short-term roadside driver license suspensions to be added to a driver’s abstract; and
  • extend the zero-tolerance period for blood alcohol so that it applies to all new graduated licenced drivers 22 years of age and under.

The amendments to the Highway Traffic Act were developed in consultation with MADD Canada and the Prince Edward Island Association of Chiefs of Police. They also draw on the work of the province’s 2013 impaired driving summit.

“MADD Canada welcomes the enactment of these important new impaired driving measures,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. “Extended BAC restrictions for young drivers, vehicle impoundments, and the other measures coming into effect will help to reduce impaired driving, and will save lives and prevent injuries. We thank the Government of Prince Edward Island for its leadership and its commitment to making the province’s roads safer.”

For more information about the penalties for impaired driving visit


Media contact:
April Gallant



License suspension and vehicle impoundment penalties for impaired driving under the Highway Traffic Act, as of September 16, 2017:

Graduated driver

  • Zero tolerance of drugs and alcohol
  • 90-day driver licence suspension and mandatory 30-day vehicle impoundment
  • Driver charged with impaired driving under the Criminal Code of Canada
    - First offence: 30-day vehicle impoundment
    - Second offence: 30-day vehicle impoundment

Non-graduated driver

  • First offence: seven-day driver licence suspension and three-day vehicle impoundment (at officer discretion)
  • Second offence (within three years): 30-day drive licence suspension and seven-day vehicle impoundment (at officer discretion)
  • Third and subsequent offences (within three years): 90-day driver licence suspension and mandatory 30-day vehicle impoundment

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