Quebec justice minister calls for car seizures after third drunk driving strike

Matthew Coutts
National Affairs Reporter
Daily Brew
Two Melbourne police officers have been injured after a drunk driver slammed into their vehicle.

Why is it that drunk drivers need three strikes before they have their cars seized? And why is even having that punishment enforced appear to be a herculean task?

According to the Montreal Gazette, the province's justice minister is urging prosecutors to push for vehicle seizures, even as the strategy is being considered by the Supreme Court.

Bertrand St-Arnaud is asking prosecutors to request that judges seize vehicles when someone is found guilty of their third impaired driving conviction.

He also asks that maximum prison sentences be doubled to 10 years.

[ Related: Quebec to crack down on repeat impaired driving offenders ]

How could anyone oppose this?

There is no excuse for drunk driving. It is simple to avoid — just don't do it — and those who fear they fall into the hazy grey zone of legally drunk and tipsy should err on the side of caution.

There is really no excuse for a second drunk driving conviction.

By the third conviction, judges should rule the person have their feet hammered to the ground and while members of the general public pelt them with gin-doused projectiles.

But even St-Arnaud's no-nonsense request, which comes after a handful of recent impaired driving-related deaths, could fall short.

The Supreme Court of Canada will rule on Thursday on the legalities of car seizures, after such an order was rejected in a Quebec trial, the Gazette reports. According to the newspaper, the punishment was rejected on the grounds that the (repeat) offender needed his car for work.

[ Related: Impaired driving rates rise for fourth time in five years ]

St-Arnaud says if the Supreme Court scuttles the vehicle seizure, he will ask the federal justice minister to get involved.

Those are the hurdles it could take to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel again.