Nova Scotia’s Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program (AIIP) is keeping Nova Scotians safer from drunk drivers.
“Drunk driving is serious issue in our province, contributing to 25 per cent of all motor vehicle fatalities each year on average,” said Margaret Miller, MLA for Hants East and past president of MADD Canada, on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan.
“I have long been a supporter of using the interlock device as a way to deter impaired driving. It’s great to see such strong evidence that the AIIP is working to modify behaviour among drunk drivers.”
Five years ago, government embarked upon a research study on the effectiveness of the AIIP to reduce re-offences among impaired drivers. An interlock device is used to measure blood alcohol content by having the driver breathe into a tube connected to the device. The car will not start if the driver’s blood alcohol reading is greater than 0.02 per cent.
Research results showed that AIIP participants were 90 per cent less likely to drive impaired when the device was installed on their vehicle and 79 per cent less likely even once the device was removed.
Between 2008 and 2014, researchers tracked 1,613 participants. Currently in Nova Scotia, 317 people are in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program.
“The design of the program was based on best practice so that participants would have the best opportunity for rehabilitation and behavior change,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “Due to the comprehensive nature of Nova Scotia’s program, we know other jurisdictions, both nationally and internationally, have a keen interest in our approach and results.”
Based on the results, government is developing an action plan for the continued use of the interlock device in Nova Scotia. The research was conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation and was overseen by the departments of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Health and Wellness, and Justice.