12/20/2012 11:24 EST | Updated 02/19/2013 05:12 EST

P.E.I. drunk drivers' vehicles could get special plates

Drunk drivers on P.E.I. may soon have to carry a reminder, and an advertisement, of their crime on the backs of their vehicles.

Transportation Minister Robert Vessey is floating the idea of distinctive plates for drivers enrolled in the ignition interlock program.

"A lot of people have a lot of pride in themselves and an impaired driver sometimes, if they're going to be identified, might make them think twice before they jump behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired," said Vessey.

P.E.I. had more impaired driving incidents per capita last year than any other province in Atlantic Canada.

Vessey said it's time to get aggressive with drunk drivers, and he is looking around for new ways to do that. Special plates are currently the law in Ohio and Minnesota.

Jean Ryan, the impaired driving program co-ordinator in Minnesota, believes the program is particularly effective for preventing repeat offences.

"I think when you're driving around with a special series licence plate on the car, it's a constant reminder that you did make a poor decision, and that you really don't want to make that decision again," said Ryan.

Andrew Murie, CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, said P.E.I. is a particularly good place to try the special plates.

"If any place it might work, it might be Prince Edward Island because it's a smaller type of community, more isolated, and neighbours know neighbours," said Murie.

Vessey is hosting a summit next month to deal with the drunk-driving problem on P.E.I., and plans to raise the drunk driver licence plate idea at that meeting.

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