Impaired Driving Laws Change
Alberta Auto Insurance
Come into force April 9, 2018
New Impaired Driving Laws Come Into Force in Alberta April 9, 2018
The Alberta government recently passed An Act to Reduce Cannabis and Alcohol-Impaired Driving, and new rules regarding impaired driving will come into force in the province April 9, 2018.
The act is designed to deter impaired driving, reduce collisions and save lives. This is particularly important when you consider that, between 2006 and 2015, 1,001 people died and more than 15,000 people were injured in Alberta as a result of alcohol or drug-impaired driving.
Government officials have said that the act provides Alberta with the necessary framework to continue to deter and deal with impaired driving in the province. The following is a summary of the four new impaired driving rules:
1. Suspensions—Under the new rules, any driver found to be impaired by drugs or alcohol will receive a 90-day licence suspension. The act defines impairment as follows:
a. Drivers found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more
b. Drivers found to be impaired by drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs
c. Drivers who fail or refuse to a breath or blood sample
Following the suspension, drivers are required to participate in a one-year ignition interlock program. Should the driver choose not to participate in this program, their licence suspension will remain in place for a full-year term.
2. Provincial sanctions—The act outlines provincial sanctions. This means that, in addition to any provincial consequences, drivers are subject to any criminal charges and penalties imposed by the courts.
3. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program—GDL drivers found with any amount of alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs or a combination of these substances are subject to a 30-day licence suspension, seven-day vehicle seizure and a lengthened term in the GDL program. This represents a zero tolerance policy for GDL drivers.
4. Alberta Transportation Safety Board procedural updates—In an effort to streamline their processes, new limits will be imposed on the number of reconsiderations the Alberta Transportation Safety Board is required to hear in the absence of new evidence. It should be noted that drivers have the right to an immediate second breath or blood test to confirm their blood alcohol or drug concentration. Drivers may use this data to appeal sanctions to the board.
Albertans can expect future changes to the act as the province plans to enforce upcoming revisions to the federal impaired driving charges found in the Criminal Code of Canada. Among these upcoming revisions, the government will propose blood drug concentration limits for cannabis.
The Government of Alberta will be ready to enforce criminal-level provincial sanctions for drug offences once the federal legislation receives royal assent.
Looking for a competitive auto quote? Give the professionals at Action Insurance a call today- 403 457-1000 or our Strathmore office at (403) 934-2125. Serving the province of Alberta with the best of insurance providers and coverage.