Tough New Sanctions to Deter Impaired Driving Come Into Effect on Dec. 16

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Manitoba’s stronger and more timely sanctions for impaired drivers come into effect on Dec. 16, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today, reminding all motorists to make safe, responsible decisions to prevent collisions, injuries and other serious consequences.

“Immediate roadside prohibition means we will be able to take more impaired drivers off the road sooner,” said Cullen.  “The strong sanctions in place are yet another good reason to make the right choice and never drive while impaired.  Manitoba continues to be a leader in dealing with impaired drivers, and together we are saving lives.”

The Manitoba government highlighted additional details about immediate roadside prohibition earlier this fall in partnership with law enforcement agencies from across the province.  This approach increases sanctions for drivers who register a ‘warn’ level on an approved screening device and provides an alternative to the more time consuming criminal court process for those who ‘fail’ or refuse a test.  The testing device used for immediate roadside prohibitions provides a faster alternative to the breathalyzer, as testing a suspected impaired driver can take as little as six minutes.

The new sanctions include monetary penalties and expanded use of vehicle impoundments and mandatory ignition interlocks.  Adding up all the administrative sanctions and monetary penalties, the minimum cost for a ‘warn’ will range from $700 for a first violation to $3,420 for a third or subsequent violation.  The minimum cost for a ‘fail’ will be $3,520, while the minimum cost for refusal of the approved screening device will be $3,970.

The minister noted law enforcement will continue to have the option to proceed with criminal charges rather than the immediate roadside prohibition approach when they feel it is warranted.

More information about current sanctions and penalties related to impaired driving is available online at www.gov.mb.ca/justice/commsafe/impaired.html. This website will be updated with information when the new law takes effect.

(Province of Manitoba News Release)