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Alberta's approach to impaired driving

On July 1, 2012, Alberta implemented tougher sanctions for graduated drivers licence (GDL) drivers and drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08. On September 1, 2012 tougher sanctions were also implemented for drivers with a BAC of .05. Between July 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013 there has been a decline in the number of alcohol-related fatalities compared to the same period for the previous five years. Compared to 2011, prior to the tougher sanctions, we have seen encouraging results from an 18.8 per cent decrease in the number of drinking drivers involved in casualty collisions and will continue to work to further reduce these numbers.

Our province’s impaired driving laws aim to reduce the number of drinking drivers on our roads – and that means fewer deaths and serious injuries. Drivers who are criminally impaired or refuse to provide a breath sample will receive the harshest sanctions. Tougher consequences at the .05 to .08 level are designed to discourage drinking and driving – before drivers reach the criminally impaired level. Our goal is to create safer roads by ensuring Albertans take personal responsibility for their actions behind the wheel.

Sanctions

Implemented July 1, 2012
For drivers with blood alcohol over .08:
  • Criminal charge for BAC over .08, impaired by drugs or alcohol or refusal to provide requested sample(s).
  • Immediate licence suspension which is sustained until criminal charge is resolved.
  • 1st charge: sustained licence suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure, “Planning Ahead” course.
  • 2nd charge: sustained licence suspension, 7- day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
  • 3rd charge: sustained licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
  • Mandatory ignition interlock after criminal conviction – 1 year for 1st conviction; 3 years for 2nd conviction; 5 years for 3rd conviction.
Implemented September 1, 2012
For drivers with Blood Alcohol .05 to .08:
  • 1st offence - Immediate 3-day licence suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure.
  • 2nd offence - Immediate 15-day licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Planning Ahead” course.
  • 3rd offence - Immediate 30-day licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
Implemented July 1, 2012
For new (GDL) drivers with blood alcohol over .00
  • GDL driver found with any blood alcohol - Immediate 30-day licence suspension and 7-day vehicle seizure