P.E.I. considers impaired driver licence plates

Ohio's licence plate for convicted drunk drivers. Prince Edward Island's Transportation Minister...

Ohio's licence plate for convicted drunk drivers. Prince Edward Island's Transportation Minister Robert Vessey is looking into special licence plates for drunk driving offenders in the province. (Handout)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:07 PM ET

Prince Edward Island's transportation minister says he's looking at the possibility of the province issuing unique licence plates to convicted drunk drivers.

Robert Vessey said he's already discussed the idea with police and officials with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and they're supportive. They have a meeting scheduled for late January to discuss it further.

"The plates would bring some awareness and education around the seriousness of impaired driving in the province," Vessey said Friday.

P.E.I. convicts around 300 people for impaired driving each year, almost twice the national rate, according to Statistics Canada.

A spokeswoman with MADD Canada said the group hasn't seen statistics showing the plates are effective at curbing impaired driving, but believes it could be worthwhile.

"P.E.I. has a smaller population where many people know one another, and it could be a very effective program," said Susan MacAskill, MADD's regional manager in Atlantic Canada.

No provinces or territories in Canada have the distinct plates, but a handful of states in the U.S. have them.

In Ohio the plates are red and yellow, while in Minnesota they contain a capital "W."

Vessey said the new licence plates could assist police and the public in potentially identifying repeat drunk drivers.

The proposal comes after P.E.I. introduced tougher impaired driving laws, such as requiring first-time drunk driving offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. The device requires the driver to pass a breathalyzer-type test before it will start the car.


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