Over the past two years, the Province of Alberta has gotten serious about stopping drinking drivers. With new laws put into place and the use of ignition interlock devices as of July 1st, 2012, they reduced the amount of alcohol-related fatalities by 46% between July until December of that year.
Alberta has cracked down on drivers who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, drivers who are criminally impaired, and young drivers in the graduated licensing program who choose to get behind the wheel after drinking. For a first impaired driving offense in Alberta where the offender has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or over, the penalties are:
- Driver will receive a criminal charge of impaired driving
- Immediate license suspension until criminal charge is resolved
- Vehicle seized for 3 days
- Driver must take ‘Planning Ahead’ course
- Mandatory ignition interlock for 1 year upon criminal conviction
For a second impaired driving conviction where the offender has a BAC of .08 or over, the penalties are the same as for a first conviction except the offender will have their vehicle seized for 7 days and must install an ignition interlock device for 3 years.
After Alberta implemented impaired driving laws for drivers with BAC of .08 and over, they added new laws on September 1st, 2012 for drivers with BAC levels of .05 to .08. For a first offense, the driver will receive:
- Immediate 3-day license suspension
- Immediate 3-day seizure of vehicle
For a second offense, the driver will receive:
- Immediate 15-day license suspension
- Immediate 7-day vehicle seizure
- Mandatory attendance at a ‘Planning Ahead’ course
In Alberta, it’s illegal for young driver enrolled in the graduated driver’s license (GDL) program to consume any alcohol while driving. If a young driver is stopped and found to have any alcohol in their system, they’ll receive an immediate 30-day license suspension and have their vehicle impounded for 7 days.
If you have an impaired driving charge and you’re considering driving on a suspended license while in Alberta, you might want to think again. There are harsh consequences for anyone who chooses to drive while their license is suspended including an additional six-month license suspension, seizure of your vehicle for 30 to 60 days, and a $2000 fine. If the driver decides to not pay the fine, they can spend up to six months in jail.