If you've lost your driver's licence for a drinking and driving related offence you may be eligible for early reinstatement of driving privileges under the Ignition Interlock Program.
Ignition interlock is an alcohol testing device connected to the ignition and power systems of a vehicle. It prevents the vehicle from being started if you've been drinking.
How ignition interlock works
- Once you start your vehicle, you must provide breath samples at random intervals while the engine is running.
- If you don't provide a breath sample or alcohol is detected, the device will issue a warning, record the event and your blood alcohol content (BAC). Then, it will activate an alarm until you provide an acceptable sample or turn off the vehicle.
- A built-in data logger records every event associated with the use of the interlock device.
- Every 30 to 60 days you must report to the interlock installer, Guardian Interlock Systems, to have the interlock system checked and its information downloaded.
You qualify for the ignition interlock device if you meet the following criteria:
- You were convicted for impaired driving, driving while over .08 or refusing a demand for a breath test (sections 253 and 254 of the Criminal Code).
- You've completed the mandatory addiction screening and prescribed recovery or education program.
- You've served the court-ordered or provincial requirement period before an interlock can be installed, whichever is greater.
Note: First-time offenders are eliglble unless a judge declares them to be ineligible.
Court-ordered requirement periods vary, but the provincial requirement period before an interlock device can be installed (within a 5 year period) is as follows:
|1st offence||3 months|
|2nd offence||6 months|
|3rd and subsequent offences||12 months|
The fees associated with the Ignition Interlock Program are outlined below:
- $150 (plus GST and PST) for installation, which includes training on the device
- $3.45 (plus GST and PST) monitoring fee per day
- $50 (plus GST and PST) removal fee at the end of the program
- $210 (plus GST and PST) early removal fee (removal by choice or by administrator's decision)
- $30 1-time administration fee during current term
Payment is due in advance of servicing. Additional fees may be assessed depending on your service requirements. For a complete schedule of fees, contact Guardian Interlock Systems at 1-800-769-3312.
Anyone can drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device if they comply with the program requirements. However, as the program participant, you're responsible for any activity recorded by the system. While other people are permitted to use the vehicle, each breath sample is recorded and applied to your record.
If family members or others will be using the vehicle while the interlock device is installed, we encourage them to come for training with you.
Applications and licensing
You do not need to apply for the Ignition Interlock Program - we'll notify you if you're eligible.
If you get notification that you're eligible, you can have the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. Then, you must buy an ignition interlock special restricted driver's licence before you can drive your vehicle. The restricted driver's licence allows you to operate vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device only.
Once the ignition interlock device has been installed, it must remain in the vehicle for the minimum ignition interlock period:
|1st offence||1 year1|
|2nd offence||2 years1|
|3rd and subsequent offences||3 years1|
If the device is removed before the ignition interlock period is completed, your special restricted driver's licence will be revoked.
In addition to completing the ignition interlock period, the last 3 months must be free of any alcohol infractions or program violations. If you do not have 3 contravention-free months at the end of the ignition interlock period, the ignition interlock period will be extended by 3 months and continue to be extended for an additional 3 months each time there are serious violations recorded. If the device is removed before the successful completion of the program, your driver's licence will be suspended for 3 months from the removal date.
Every 30 to 60 days, you must report to the interlock installer to have the ignition interlock device checked. At that time, the information will be recorded and provided to SGI for monitoring purposes.
If you don't comply with the program's conditions or you violate them, you'll get a warning. Program violations include but are not limited to:
- attempts to drive after drinking
- attempts to bypass or tamper with the device
- failing to report for monitoring checks
- failing to take a test or re-test when required
If serious violations continue to occur, we may order the removal of the ignition interlock device and reinstate the initial suspension period. The following violations will result in an extension of the ignition interlock period:
- a start violation
- having a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level
- tampering with the device
- using an emergency override
Some decisions made by SGI can be appealed to the Highway Traffic Board (HTB), including the:
- extension of the ignition interlock period
- 3-month suspension (if the device is removed before the end of the ignition interlock period)
- early removal of the ignition interlock device by SGI
A termination that is initiated by Guardian Interlock Systems, the service provider, cannot be appealed.
The HTB is independent from SGI and has the authority to reverse SGI's decision. The appeal must be made within 21 days after notification of SGI's sanction.
Visit the Highway Traffic Board's website for more information about the appeal process, or contact them by:
1550 Saskatchewan Drive
Regina, SK S4P 0E4
775-6663 in Regina
1-800-667-8015 ext. 6663
Guardian Interlock Systems
Highway Traffic Board
1-800-667-8015 ext. 6663