Alberta Significantly Increases Penalties for Impaired Driving
Beginning April 9th, all criminally impaired drivers (drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or over, drivers impaired by drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs) in Alberta will receive a 90-day license suspension, which will be followed up by mandatory inclusion in a one-year ignition interlock program.
This update in punishment on criminally impaired drivers comes on the heels of the Act to Reduce Cannabis and Alcohol-Impaired Driving, passed in the fall of 2017 by the Alberta Government.
Should a driver choose to not participate in the mandatory one-year ignition interlock program, the 90-day license suspension will be extended by one year, to include the time the driver would have been in the ignition interlock program. In essence, choosing to not participate in the program will result in a license suspension totaling 15 months for criminally impaired driving.
Get an online car insurance quote.
For drivers in Alberta that are in the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program, regardless of age, there will be a ‘’Zero Tolerance’’ in effect. This means that any amount – even a trace – of alcohol, cannabis or illegal drugs in the driver’s bloodstream will result in a 30-day license suspension, seven-day vehicle seizure and a lengthened term in the GDL program.
To go along with the above penalties imposed by the provincial government, criminally impaired drivers will still be subject to regular criminal charges, fines and/or penalties imposed by the courts.
Transportation Minister Brian Mason says the government will continue to take impaired drivers, be it by drugs or alcohol, off Alberta roads. He believes this update on impaired driving will make people think twice before getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.