POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 91 continued ... • Stage 1: Driver must be supervised at all times by a licensed adult and subject to stringent conditions. This stage should be a minimum of 12 months. • Stage 2: Driver can drive unsupervised in some situations but must be supervised in more challenging situations. This stage should last a minimum of 24 months. MADD Canada also recommends the minimum driving age should be 16. Alcohol Ignition Interlocks Alcohol ignition interlocks are an effective tool in the fight to stop impaired driving, yet they are not used broadly or consistently across the country. Using the same technology as the roadside breathalyzers administered by police, an ignition interlock prevents a car from starting or remaining operational if the driver’s breath indicates his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over a pre-set limit. In conjunction with rehabilitation and educational programs, interlock programs help modify the behaviour of drinking drivers. The technology gives offenders who have lost their licences a chance to regain conditional driving privileges while at the same time ensuring they cannot operate a vehicle if they are impaired. The recidivism rate of interlock program participants is up to 90% lower than that of non-participants. Once the interlock is removed, the rates are comparable between program participants and nonparticipants. This highlights the needs to incorporate rehabilitation programs for interlock participants to deal with the problems that led to the offence. Despite the evidence of their effectiveness, interlock usage is limited across the country. With approximately 34,000 impaired driving convictions annually (for the year 2007/2008), only about 13,000 interlocks were used in 2008. Significantly more could be done to encourage and/or mandate participation by eligible offenders. All provinces and territories except the Yukon have some form of ignition interlock program for convicted impaired drivers. However these programs are often voluntary. The participation rate in voluntary programs is just 10% of those convicted. MADD Canada recommends mandatory interlocks for all convicted impaired driving offenders, including reduced provincial suspensions to encourage participation. While some may be surprised by MADD Canada’s support of a program which results in convicted offenders getting their licences back earlier, it is our position that offering early licence reinstatement, along with rehabilitation and remedial programs, to first-time offenders who meet the eligibility requires is an important way to change their behavioiur and prevent them from become repeat offenders. These programs, when comprehensive and properly implemented, help the driver change their behaviour and stop their drinking and driving permanently. Vehicle Impoundment and Forfeiture Programs Many suspended and prohibited drivers continue to drive, at least occasionally, during the period of their licence suspension or revocation and they are more likely to be involved in crashes than licensed drivers. Research shows that licence suspensions alone are not sufficient to keep certain offenders off the roads and therefore, additional vehicle-based sanctions are warranted to discourage and at least temporarily prevent some unlicensed, disqualified and prohibited offenders from driving and, particularly, from driving while impaired. Vehicle Impoundment Vehicle impoundments have shown positive results in reducing recidivism and subsequent crashes among affected drivers. MADD Canada recommends the impoundment or immobilization of any vehicle police have reasonable grounds to believe is uninsured or is being driven by an unlicensed, suspended or disqualified or prohibited