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Alberta's approach to impaired driving

What’s Changed?

In May of 2017, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that Section 88.1 of Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, related to the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension, was unconstitutional. This section imposes an indefinite licence suspension for driving with a blood alcohol concentration over .08 per cent—a federal criminal offence—pending the outcome of criminal court proceedings.

The Traffic Safety Act was amended to address this ruling. This has been replaced with a fixed term licence suspension of 90-days plus a further one-year driving suspension where the suspended driver may be eligible to drive on the condition that they participate in Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program.

The Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Program gives law enforcement the ability to apply immediate roadside sanctions to drivers who meet the criminal level criteria for drug and/or alcohol consumption, removing the unsafe driver from Alberta roadways and deterring impaired driving.

Alberta’s Administrative Licence Suspension Program:

Drivers with a breath or blood sample over 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, who are impaired by alcohol or a drug or by a combination of alcohol and a drug, or failed or refused to comply with a demand by a police officer to provide either a breath or blood sample will be subject to a two-stage, fixed term driving suspension of consisting of two distinct parts:

  • a 90-day licence suspension where the suspended driver is unable to drive under any circumstances, AND
  • a further one-year driving suspension where the suspended driver may be eligible to drive on the condition that they participate in Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program. If they choose not to participate, they will remain suspended during this one-year term with no ability to drive to legally.

The Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Program above will be expanded to include drivers with blood drug or alcohol/drug concentrations over the proposed new federal limits when they come into force in Ottawa.

Please Note: Refusing or failing to provide a breath sample may continue to result in a charge under the Criminal Code (Canada) and being served an Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension

Click here to print all of the PDF files below at once.

Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension (pdf)

Applies when a Driver, including those in the Graduated Driver Licence (GDL) Program, has a blood alcohol content of .08 or over

.05 Immediate Roadside Sanctions (pdf)

Applies when a Driver has a blood alcohol content over .05 and no criminal charge was laid by Law Enforcement.

.00 Sanctions for Drivers in the Graduated Driver Licence (GDL) Program (pdf) 

Applies when a Driver of the Graduated Driver Licence Program (GDL) has a blood alcohol concentration over .00 and no criminal charge was laid by Law Enforcement.

24-Hour Suspension (pdf)

Applies when a Driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is affected by drugs, alcohol, medical condition, and/or physical ability.

Mandatory and Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program (pdf)

Applies to drivers who are convicted of an alcohol-related Criminal Code (Canada) impaired driving charge.