Nova Scotia proposes tougher drunk-driving laws

HALIFAX (May 21) — Three-time drunk-driving offenders would have their licence suspended for at least 10 years under proposed new amendments to Nova Scotia’s Motor Vehicle Act.

Additional administrative amendments would allow police to suspend on the spot drivers who register a “warn” on a breathalyser. The suspension would last 24 hours. An administrative change to the act would allow the driver’s vehicle to be impounded.

Other amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act would allow psychologists to report unsafe drivers with the same legal
protection given to physicians and optometrists. The intent is to allow psychologists to report to the Registry of Motor Vehicles any patient they feel is unfit to drive due to mental or emotional problems.

Currently, only medical doctors and optometrists are provided this protection. When the Registry of Motor Vehicles is notified by a doctor that a patient has a medical condition that poses a potential threat to highway safety, the driver’s licence is immediately suspended pending a medical review.

It’s a step that seven other provinces have taken.

Other amendments would establish a registry of wrecked vehicles, ones so badly damaged that they were written off by insurance companies. The insurance companies would report the information within five days of an accident and
the permits of these vehicles would be permanently red-flagged.

The system would allow potential buyers to know whether the car had been involved in a major accident.

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