Strengthening Alberta's approach to impaired driving

Our province’s new impaired driving law will help 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 penalties. And, these drivers will still be charged with a criminal offence. 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 that Albertans take responsibility for their actions behind the wheel.

  • Alberta is focusing on those who receive Criminal Code offences, repeat offenders and new drivers.
  • Education and enforcement are both key to Alberta's approach.
  • This made-in-Alberta approach focuses on changing behaviours through mandatory courses and ignition interlock use.
  • Alberta does not believe that fines are the solution. These changes do not include fines or demerit points.
  • This legislation does not prevent responsible Albertans from having a drink with dinner or friends.
  • Our focus is safer roads.

Success to Date

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. Since the tougher sanctions came into force, starting on July 1 through December 31, 2012, there has been a 46% decline in the number of alcohol-related fatalities compared to the same period for the previous five years.

Fatalities in Alcohol-Related Collisions: July-December 2012

Alberta Alcohol Suspensions and Seizures: July-December 2012

Penalties

Implemented July 1, 2012
For drivers with blood alcohol over .08:
  • Criminal charge
  • 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