Alberta New Drunk Driving Laws: The Ultimate Guide

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Alberta New Drunk Driving Laws

Do you know that the Alberta government has released new laws for drunk driving? Well, as a sensible citizen, everyone must learn and understand the Alberta new drunk driving laws. To make it easier for you, we have explained the new law in the easiest way.

The impaired driving law of Alberta is concerned with preventing impaired driving and keeping the roads safe. This law helps to protect all the road users of Alberta.

So, we, the people of Alberta, should always respect and strictly maintain this law to have a safer road for movement. However, for doing this, we need to know the law first. Actually, many people who don’t know the law wholly and correctly don’t have any headaches.

Do you know, the impaired law of Alberta has changed recently? Now the law has become stricter than before. Besides, many changes have come for our better safety.

Anyways, in this article, we will give you the ultimate guide on Alberta’s new impaired driving law. As a citizen of Alberta, we all should know this. So, without any further delay, let’s get into the discussion.

What is Impaired Driving?

According to the definition given by the criminal code of Canada under section 253, impaired driving is operating a motor vehicle, or vessels, or operating, or assisting an aircraft or railway vehicle, whether it is in motion or not when someone’s ability to drive is impaired.

More simply and clearly, impaired driving is a punishable offense in Canada that occurs when a driver operates a vehicle when their ability to drive is impaired by using alcohol or any drugs.

Know More About Impaired Driving Criminal Code

People think that drunk driving is another name for impaired driving. But actually, the thing is slightly different. It means driving after taking a hard drink at a significant level by which you can’t drive properly.

Drunk driving is just a part of impaired driving. Here the penalties and laws are the same for both offenses. We hope you are clear now.

Alberta New Impaired Driving Law

Like all other provinces of Canada, Alberta has a provincial sanction that is applied to impaired driving regulated by the government of Canada under the criminal code.

Even after having a strict law, the number of impaired driving had been increasing at a significant level day by day. That is why recently, Alberta’s impaired driving law has changed.

According to this latest law, there have 5 different programs under the Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) Program for alcohol and drug-impaired driving for every impaired driving case.

You will easily get all the rules, regulations, and punishments of impaired driving by knowing these five programs, which are given below:

Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) FAIL Program

IRS fail program is conducted under the 88.1 section of the traffic safety act of Canada. It will be applied to the drivers when the law enforcement will have reasonable ground by which they can believe that the driver is impaired.

The program will be applied to all the legal and illegal prescription and non-prescription drugs that have the same potentialities to cause impairment. However, these grounds are as follows:

  • Someone operated a motor vehicle when any drugs or alcohol impair their ability to do so to any degree.
  • Someone’s blood alcohol concentration is equal to or exceeds 80 milligrams in 100 milliliters of blood within two hours after ceasing to operate any motor vehicle.
  • Someone’s blood drug concentration is equal to or exceeds the blood drug concentration for the drugs prescribed and given by the criminal code of Canada within two hours after ceasing any motor vehicle.
  • Someone has taken drug and alcohol combinedly, and their blood drug and alcohol concentration is equal to or exceeds the limit given by the criminal code of Canada within two hours after ceasing to operate any vehicle.

If the law enforcement found any of these grounds in someone, he will have to notice the administrative penalty. Therefore, here you have a second chance breath test again.

You can request the officer to do it. If the result of that test is less than any illegal blood drug or alcohol concentration, your notice of administrative penalty will be canceled.

If the result is equal to exceed the prohibited blood drug or alcohol concentration, law enforcement will confirm the notice of administrative penalty.

Sanctions or Punishments

When law enforcement issues the Notice of Administrative Penalty, the driver’s license will be suspended immediately.

Besides, a confirmation of suspension will be sent to the given address in your license. After the suspension of driver’s license under the IRS Fail Program, you will get some sanctions or punishments, which are as follows:

First Occurrence

If this is your first occurrence, the sanctions you will get are:

  • You will immediately get two different types of driver’s license suspension-
    • you are unable to drive in any circumstances for 90 days, and
    • You have to participate in the ignition interlock program to drive for the next 12 months; otherwise, you will not be able to drive.
  • You have to complete the remedial education requirement within 450 days. If you don’t do it, you will get an indefinite administrative suspension for non-compliance. You will be suspended and unable to drive until you complete the remedial education course.
  • Your vehicle will be seized for thirty days.
  • You have to give a $1000 fine and the victim’s fine surcharge of 20%.
  • With these penalties, if law enforcement issues any criminal charges, you will be convicted.
Second Occurrence

For the second time occurrence, you will receive the following sanctions:

  • You will immediately get two different types of driver’s license suspension-
    • you are unable to drive in any circumstances for 90 days, and
    • You have to participate in the ignition interlock program to drive for the next 36 months; otherwise, you will not be able to drive.
  • You have to complete the remedial education course within 1170 days. Otherwise, you will get an indefinite administrative suspension for non-compliance, and you will be suspended and unable to drive until you complete the remedial education course.
  • Your vehicle will be seized for thirty days.
  • You have to give a $2000 fine and the victim’s fine surcharge of 20%.
  • With these penalties, if law enforcement issues any criminal charges, you will be convicted.

Information Source: Alberta.ca

Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) WARN Program

This program is for drivers with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.05% to 0.079%. This one is also a reasonable ground for law enforcement to consider impaired driving.

Here, you also get the chance of immediate roadside appeal by which you can request the law enforcement to test for the second time.

If the second test result is less than the prohibited level, your notice of administrative penalty will be canceled. On the other hand, you will get the following sanctions:

First Occurrence

If this is your first occurrence, your punishments are:

  • You will immediately get the suspension of your driver’s license for three days, where you will not be able to drive in any circumstances.
  • Your vehicle will be seized for three days.
  • You will be fined $300 with the victim’s fine surcharge of 20%.

Second Occurrence

For the second time occurrence, your punishments are:

  • You will immediately get the suspension of your driver’s license for 15 days, where you will not be able to drive in any circumstances.
  • Your vehicle will be seized for seven days.
  • You will be fined $600 with the victim’s fine surcharge of 20%.
  • You need to have complete the remedial education program through the Crossroad course within six months. Otherwise, your driver’s license will be suspended indefinitely until you complete the course.

Third and Consecutive Occurrence

For the third and consecutive occurrence, the punishments are:

  • You will immediately get the suspension of your driver’s license for 30 days, where you will not be able to drive in any circumstances.
  • Your vehicle will be seized for seven days.
  • You will be fined $1200 with the victim’s fine surcharge of 20%.
  • You need to have complete the remedial education course through the IMPACT program within six months. Otherwise, your driver’s license will be suspended indefinitely until you complete the course.

Information Source: Alberta.ca

Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) ZERO Program: Novice

This program is for novice and graduated driver’s holder drivers. They must have zero blood and alcohol levels when they are driving. Suppose someone drives with any amount of drug or alcohol level.

In that case, s/he will get the sanctions by the law enforcement because, according to the latest Alberta new impaired driving law, this one is also a reasonable ground.

In this program, you will also get the immediate roadside sanction previous two programs. After getting the notice of administrative penalty, your driver’s license will be suspended as before. After that, a confirmation of suspension will be sent to your address.

Anyways, when the driver’s license is suspended, you will get some punishment or sanctions also like before, which are as follows:

  • An immediate suspension of driver’s license for 30days by which you will not be able to drive for thirty days in any circumstances.
  • Your vehicle will be seized for seven days.
  • You will be fined $200 with the victim’s fine.

Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) ZERO Program: Commercial

This program is for drivers who operate commercial vehicles. According to Alberta’s latest impaired driving law, you drivers who operate the commercial vehicle must have zero alcohol levels in their blood in any circumstances.

This one is a very significant program for improving road safety nowadays. Commercial industry stakeholders are also agreed with this zero-tolerance law for commercial drivers.

Anyways, this IRS Zero program: commercial will apply to the drivers who are:

  • Operating a registered commercial vehicle that has a more than 11,794 kg weight.
  • Operating a commercial vehicle that has more than ten passenger seating capacity.

After making sure that you have any drug or alcohol level, you will receive the notice of administrative penalty as before and then the suspension of your driver’s license.

Here, you are also getting the immediate roadside appeal opportunity as before. However, the sanctions that are being suspended are as follows:

First Occurrence

For the first occurrence, you will get:

  • The suspension of your driver’s license for 3 days where you will not drive in any circumstances.
  • $300 fine with the victim’s fine surcharge of 20%.

Second Occurrence in 10-year Period

For the second occurrence:

  • You will immediately get the suspension of your driver’s license for 15 days, where you will not be able to drive in any circumstances.
  • You will be fined $600 with the victim’s fine surcharge of 20%.

Third or Consecutive Occurrence in 10-year Period

For the third occurrence or if you are repeating the same occurrence, your punishments are:

  • You will immediately get the suspension of your driver’s license for 30 days, where you will not be able to drive in any circumstances.
  • You will be fined $1200 with the victim’s fine surcharge of 20%.

Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) Program of IRS: 24-Hour

This program is for drivers suspected of taking drugs and alcohol or any other medical condition on the road and driving.

In this type of situation, drivers may not have the ability to drive perfectly, which affects the safety of the road for all users. As a punishment, law enforcement officers suspend the driver’s license of the suspected divers for 24 hours.

Here, Alberta Transportation’s Driver Fitness and Monitoring staff can review the file of that impaired driver to determine their fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

There have many frequently asked questions regarding this topic which are as follows:

What are the New Drinking and Driving Laws in Alberta?

Recently the government of Alberta has conducted five new programs for the impaired driving, which are discussed in detail above in this article. These programs are also for drunk drivers as drinking and driving are parts of impaired driving. So, we can say that those are the new drinking and driving laws in Alberta.

What is the Legal Limit for Drinking and Driving in Alberta?

0.05% to 0.079% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is Alberta's legal limit for drinking and driving. That means 79 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood are legal while driving, according to the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta.

Is Impaired Driving a Criminal Offence in Alberta?

Yes, obviously, impaired driving is a criminal offense in Alberta. It is being considered a Federal Criminal Offence here since 1992 that has significant punishment.

Is Impaired Driving Zero Tolerance in Alberta?

Yes, impaired driving is zero-tolerance in Alberta in some circumstances. For the novice and commercial vehicle drivers, it is zero tolerance. If law enforcement found any amount of alcohol or drug in the blood of these two types of drivers when they are driving, they will be convicted, and their driver’s license will be suspended immediately.

What is the Penalty for Impaired Driving in Alberta?

There are many penalties or punishments for impaired driving in Alberta. Among those, immediate driver’s license suspension, vehicle seizing, fine, remedial education courses, etc., are the most common.

Conclusion

The impaired driving law in Alberta is now much strict. There are several new penalties, rules, and regulations are added. Actually, a huge number of people are losing their life by of road accidents.

This law is very important for the road user to prevent these accidents and make the road safe. Anyways, all the Alberta new impaired driving law is discussed in this article. Now it is your responsibility to follow this and stay safe.