In Alberta, impaired driving has been a long-standing problem. The province’s approach has been to crack down on young drivers who drink while on the graduated drivers license program and anyone who drives with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 or more. It seems to be working too, because this year Alberta has reported a drop in impaired drivers during the busy summer months.
Data from Edmonton showed that Alberta RCMP laid only 77 impaired driving charges over the August long weekend. As that’s one of the busiest weekends of the year, it’s good news for RCMP who arrested 128 people over the same weekend last year.
But one number was up over last year: roadside suspensions. That’s due to warn range offenses where the driver blew between .05 and .08. It went up from 54 suspensions in 2014 to 89 suspensions in 2015. Each driver in this case received a three-day drivers license suspension and a three-day vehicle seizure.
Alberta impaired driving penalties improved way back in 2012, and since that time they’ve been dedicated to constantly decreasing the number of injuries and deaths on the provinces roads. As of right now offenders in Alberta will receive:
- Immediate drivers license suspensions until the criminal charge of BAC over .08 is resolved
- Long term drivers license suspensions
- 3 day vehicle seizures
- Mandatory ignition interlock program for 1 year for first conviction, 3 year for second conviction, and 5 years for third
For Alberta, it’s all part of the plan to decrease the likelihood that someone will make the decision to drink and drive. Although the data isn’t in for Labor Day yet, if the province continues to see a decrease they’ll know the tougher sanctions and improved impaired driving penalties are working. That means safer roads for everyone who drives on them.