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Repeat drunk drivers in Ontario risk losing their cars permanently under a new provincial law that came into effect Wednesday.


The new law, part of the Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act, 2007, allows the courts to impound and auction off vehicles owned or operated by drunk drivers upon request from the Attorney General.


"Ontario takes impaired driving very seriously," Attorney General Chris Bentley said in a release. "Repeat drinking drivers who aren't getting the message now run the risk of having the courts take their vehicles away forever."


The law applies to automobiles, motorcycles, motor assisted bicycles and snowmobiles.


For a vehicle to be seized, it must either be involved in, or considered likely to be involved in, a drinking and driving offense and must be owned or driven by someone who has had their license suspended for a drinking and driving offense at least twice within 10 years.


The civil court would be able to release impounded vehicles if the registered owner agrees to court-imposed terms and conditions, such as the installation of an ignition interlock device, which prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects a certain blood alcohol level.


The vehicle could also be released if the owner agrees to bar from driving the person whose actions resulted in the vehicle being seized.


Vehicles forfeited under the new law will be sold at public auction with the proceeds deposited into an account, the Attorney General's release said.


Anyone affected by the drunk driver's actions will be able to apply for compensation from the vehicle's sale.


Remaining money in the fund "may be disbursed for grants to support programs and intiatives that assist victims of unlawful activity or prevent victimization," the release said.


MADD supports law


"There is strong public support for governments to strength measures aimed at reducing impaired driving," Wanda Kristensen, MADD's Director of Programs, said in a release.


"We recently commissioned a study, along with Transport Canada, that showed 89 per cent of respondents favoured the confiscation of vehicles of convicted drivers who drive during a license suspension."


Since November 2003 a total of $4.1 million in property has been forfeited to Ontario's Civil Remedies for Illicit Activities office, with an additional $13.1 million in property that is frozen pending the completion of court proceedings.


(Courtesy of CBC News)


I would love to see a tougher law be put into place here in Quebec. 1st time you get caught or caught again you lose your license for life or you can spend life in prison.


These idiots should not get any chances.

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