The consequences of DUIs in Alberta
June 24, 2019. In addition to the federal Criminal Code of Canada impaired driving penalties, each province has its own sanctions for impaired driving.
According to Alberta Transportation, in 2016 there were 57 fatalities related to impaired driving, which is a 16.2% reduction in impaired driving casualties from 2014, which had a record low of 68 deaths, and a 32.9% reduction from 2015.
Impaired driving laws became tougher in 2018 and now Alberta has some of the toughest impaired driving laws in Canada and the world. It is illegal to be over the legal alcohol limit within two hours of driving and police can ask for a breathalyzer test from anyone they pull over. You need to know exactly what the impaired driving laws are if you have any doubt about whether you should be driving.
There are four programs to stop and prevent impaired driving in Alberta.
Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) program
The IRS program applies to fully licensed drivers with a blood alcohol concentration between .05 to .08.
- 3-day vehicle seizure
- Immediate 3-day license suspension
- 7-day vehicle seizure
- Immediate 15-day license suspension
- Attendance of the “Planning Ahead” course
- 7-day vehicle seizure
- Immediate 30-day Driver’s License Suspension
- Attendance of “IMPACT” Program
Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension (AALS) program
The AALS program affects fully licensed drivers and drivers in the Graduated Driver Licensing Program who:
- Have a blood alcohol concentration over .08
- Have a concentration of THC over 2 nanograms per millilitre in their bloodstream
- Have a blood alcohol concentration of .05 and 2.5 nanograms of THC per millilitre in the bloodstream
- Refuse to provide a fluid or breath sample
Sanctions include an immediate driving suspension.
- 90-day license suspension
- A further driving suspension of one year during which the driver can drive if they participate in the Ignition Interlock Program
Suspended drivers must also attend remedial education courses and will have their vehicle seized for 3 days for a first offense and 7 days for subsequent offenses.
24-Hour Suspension Program
Drivers who are suspected of impairment due to alcohol, drugs, fatigue, or a medical or physical condition can be removed from the road immediately by peace officers and have their license suspended for 24 hours.
Zero Tolerance Program
New drivers in the Graduated Driver Licensing program are subject to a 7-day vehicle seizure and 30-day license suspension if alcohol, cannabis, or illegal drugs are found in their blood at a concentration that is higher than zero but less than criminal limits.
What does a DUI mean for your car insurance?
A DUI can double or triple your insurance premiums for at least three years and you may be refused coverage.