About the Program
Nova Scotia

Alcohol-related crashes


2006 - 30
2007 - 35
2008 - 17
2009 - 25
2010 - 18

Drivers in serious injury alcohol-related crashes

2006 - 83
2007 - 88
2008 - 58
2009 - 73
2010 - 77

Blood alcohol concentration limits

Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.N.S., 1989, c. 293, s. 279


Criminal BAC limit: 0.08%
Administrative BAC limit: 0.05%
Graduated Licence limit: 0.00%

Provincial administrative licence suspension
1st offence: 1 year 2nd offence: 3 years 3rd+ offence: indefinite (min. 10 years)
Remedial program

In Nova Scotia, all offenders convicted of impaired driving (for both alcohol and drugs) are required to undergo an assessment for alcohol/drug dependency and participate in the Driving While Impaired (DWI) program. This program is overseen by Addiction Services of Nova Scotia and costs approximately $415. Participation in the program is required by provincial law and licence reinstatement is conditional on successful completion. The entire program can take up to a year to complete as it includes an individual assessment, group education sessions, and possibly individual counseling.

The assessment for alcohol dependency consists of an interview with Addiction Services staff where the extent of dependency is evaluated. If it is determined that the offender has a serious drug/alcohol problem, they will be referred for treatment or counselling. The assessment may be completed during the course of one to three clinical/treatment sessions which average about 60 minutes in length.

The education program can be up to two days in length and is delivered to a group of less than 20 offenders. Its focus is educational and aims to provide offenders with information about impaired driving and how to avoid recidivating. Topics covered include:

  • impaired driving laws (both provincial and federal);
  • the effect that alcohol has on the body and BAC;
  • the impact that drugs have on driving ability;
  • the impact that fatigue has on driving ability;
  • attitudes about drinking and driving; and,
  • the difference between impairment and intoxication.
Alcohol interlock program
Program authority
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (SNSMR)

First offenders that are assessed as having low or medium risk by Addiction Services may participate on a voluntary basis. Repeat offenders and first offenders assessed as having high risk must participate, on a mandatory basis, as a condition of licence reinstatement.

Length of participation

1st offence (low or medium risk): min. 9 months
1st offence (high risk): 1 year
2nd offence: min. 2 years
3rd offence: min. 3 years

Monitoring agency
Completed by representatives of the RMV and Addictions Services with assistance from the alcohol interlock service provider who provides the needed information for review.
Sanctions for non-compliance
Violations can lead to program extensions or removal from the program.

Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
Phone: (902)424-0532
Email: tpwpaff@gov.ns.ca

Last updated February 2014


Follow us on Twitter   Facebook   Youtube 
Sponsored by
Sponsored by Beer Canada Traffic Injury Research Foundation Arrive Alive ACART
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | | RSS