Nova Scotia is launching a program to fight drunk driving by requiring addiction counselling and the purchase of an expensive breathalyzer device.

The province unveiled its breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BIID) program Tuesday, saying it will make communities safer by keeping impaired drivers off the road.

The program is for people who have lost their driver’s licence because of an alcohol-related conviction or have an alcohol-related incident on their driving record.

Participants will have to pay between $1,700 and $2,000 for the first year to have a breathalyzer device installed and maintained in their vehicles.

Before starting the vehicle, the driver has to blow into the small, hand-held device. The car won’t start if the driver’s blood alcohol level is above a preset limit.

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