section 259(1.1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Offenders registered in an alcohol ignition interlock device program may operate a vehicle equipped with the device during the prohibition period, unless ordered otherwise by the court.

SECTION WORDING

259(1.1) If the offender is registered in an alcohol ignition interlock device program established under the law of the province in which the offender resides and complies with the conditions of the program, the offender may, subject to subsection (1.2), operate a motor vehicle equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device during the prohibition period, unless the court orders otherwise.

EXPLANATION

Section 259(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada introduces the concept of an alcohol ignition interlock device program. This program requires individuals who have been convicted of certain driving-related offenses involving alcohol to have a device installed in their vehicle that tests their breath for alcohol before allowing the vehicle to start. If the offender is registered in this program and complies with its conditions, he or she may be allowed to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device during the prohibition period, unless the court orders otherwise. The purpose of the alcohol ignition interlock device program is to enhance public safety by ensuring that individuals who have a history of impaired driving are prevented from operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The program is implemented and overseen by provincial governments, and may have different conditions and requirements depending on the province. However, regardless of the specific program in place, individuals who participate in it are required to bear the cost of installing and maintaining the device themselves. It is important to note that the ability to operate a motor vehicle with an alcohol ignition interlock device during the prohibition period is not an automatic right, but rather a privilege that may be granted by the court. The offender must demonstrate compliance with the program's conditions and show that he or she is committed to abstaining from alcohol while driving. If the court decides that the offender is not fit to operate a vehicle equipped with the device, the ban on driving remains in effect. Overall, section 259(1.1) recognizes the importance of providing offenders with an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and reintegrate into society while ensuring that public safety is not compromised. It is a step toward creating a more effective and nuanced approach to dealing with impaired driving offenses, one that acknowledges the complexity of the issue and the need for a multifaceted solution.

COMMENTARY

Section 259(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that allows offenders to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device during the prohibition period. This provision is aimed at reducing drunk driving incidents and the resulting harm to individuals and property. The alcohol ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that is installed in the vehicle and linked to the ignition system. Before the vehicle can be started, the driver must blow into the device. If the device detects alcohol above the pre-set limit, the vehicle will not start. Additionally, the device may require the driver to provide breath samples at random intervals while driving to ensure continued sobriety. This device ensures the offender is not capable of operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and keeps the community safe. Furthermore, it provides offenders with the opportunity to regain their driving privileges, allowing them to maintain employment, attend medical appointments and improve their overall quality of life. However, this provision is not available to all offenders. Offenders must be registered in an alcohol ignition interlock device program established under the law of the province in which they reside and comply with the conditions of the program. This includes the installation and maintenance of the device, attending regular appointments and providing breath samples as required. Failure to comply with these conditions or operate a motor vehicle without an interlock device may result in penalties such as additional fines or imprisonment. Although this provision is a step in the right direction in reducing drunk driving incidents, there are still potential issues that must be addressed. Firstly, the effectiveness of the alcohol ignition interlock device may be limited as it only detects alcohol in the breath and not other substances that can impair driving, such as drugs. Secondly, it is up to the provinces to establish these programs, and not all provinces have them in place. This results in inconsistencies in terms of offender treatment and rehabilitation across the country. Additionally, these programs may be costly for offenders, especially those who are already experiencing financial hardship. The cost of the device, installation and maintenance, as well as regular appointments, can add up, making it difficult for some offenders to participate in the program. In conclusion, Section 259(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a necessary provision that aims to reduce drunk driving incidents and keep the community safe. However, it is imperative that programs are established in all provinces to ensure consistency in offender treatment and rehabilitation. Additionally, cost-effective solutions must be developed to allow more offenders to participate in these programs and regain their driving privileges. With continued advancements in technology and programs, there may be more opportunities to provide safer driving experiences for all.

STRATEGY

Section 259(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an option for offenders to operate a motor vehicle during their prohibition period if they comply with the conditions of the alcohol ignition interlock device program established under the law of the province in which they reside. This provision is significant because it allows offenders to continue driving, which is often crucial for their employment and quality of life, while ensuring public safety by preventing them from driving under the influence of alcohol. However, there are also strategic considerations that need to be taken into account when dealing with this provision. One of the primary strategic considerations is ensuring the offender's compliance with the alcohol ignition interlock device program. The program requires the offender to install the device in their vehicle, which prevents the car from starting if the person has consumed alcohol. The program also imposes other conditions, such as attending regular appointments for device maintenance, paying fees, and reporting any device malfunctions. Compliance with these conditions is essential to avoid violating the prohibition period and facing further penalties. To ensure compliance, lawyers can advise their clients to take the alcohol ignition interlock device program seriously and follow the conditions rigorously. The lawyers can also educate their clients about the consequences of violating the program conditions, which can result in prolonged prohibition periods, fines, and potential criminal charges. Lawyers can also help their clients navigate any issues or conflicts that arise during the program, such as inaccurate device readings or missed maintenance appointments. Another strategic consideration is presenting the offender's case to the court effectively. The court has discretion to order the offender not to drive even if they are enrolled in the alcohol ignition interlock device program. The court may do so if the offender has a history of non-compliance with court orders, has committed a severe offense, or poses a significant risk to public safety. Lawyers can help their clients prepare a compelling argument that demonstrates their commitment to complying with the program conditions and addresses any concerns the court may have about their ability to drive safely. Lawyers can also present evidence or testimony from the offender's employer, family members, or treatment professionals to support their case. One additional strategy that can be employed is negotiating the conditions of the program with the prosecution. Although the program's conditions are usually standardized, the prosecution may agree to modify them in certain circumstances. For example, if the offender lives in a remote area with limited public transportation, the prosecution may be willing to modify the program's attendance requirements. Negotiating such modifications can make it easier for the offender to comply with the program and can reduce the risk of further violations. In conclusion, Section 259(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an option for offenders to operate a motor vehicle during their prohibition period if they comply with the conditions of the alcohol ignition interlock device program. To ensure compliance and navigate potential court orders, strategic considerations such as advising clients on compliance, presenting a compelling case to the court, and negotiating program conditions can be employed. Following these strategies can help offenders continue driving safely while also fulfilling their legal obligations.