POLITICS

Quebec aiming to crack down on repeat drunk drivers by seizing vehicles

01/16/2013 01:20 EST | Updated 03/18/2013 05:12 EDT
QUEBEC - The Quebec government wants to crack down on repeat drunk-driving offenders and is hoping Ottawa will amend the Criminal Code to make its task easier.

"We must use all the means at our disposal," Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud told a news conference Wednesday.

St-Arnaud said an offender's vehicle will be seized after each infraction and confiscated for good upon a third offence. The latter measure can already be applied but is not done so often enough for St-Arnaud.

He called drunk driving a social scourge that the government is determined to attack on various fronts.

That will include a clear directive to Crown prosecutors to be tougher at every step in legal proceedings involving drivers who have consumed alcohol or drugs.

Quebec also wants repeat offenders to be tagged as "dangerous offenders." St-Arnaud is asking Ottawa to amend the Criminal Code along those lines.

The province also wants Ottawa to consider toughening prison sentences for repeat offenders.

Wednesday's announcement came just a few days after two fatal hit-and-run deaths in Quebec that allegedly involved impaired driving.

St-Arnaud said young Quebecers are the worst culprits when it comes to impaired driving in the province.

"The people from 16 to 25 years old, they are 13 per cent of the population but they are involved in 33 per cent of the impaired-driving cases involving death."