Impaired driving laws will soon change

Changes to impaired driving laws will come into effect on April 9

With the legalization of cannabis only three months away, Alberta is preparing by putting new impaired driving laws into effect.

Beginning April 9, drivers will be subject to the new laws under the Act to Reduce Cannabis and Alcohol-Impaired Driving. Impaired driving includes those with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or over, drivers impaired by drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, and drivers who fail or refuse to comply with a demand for a breath or blood sample, according to a press release from the Government of Alberta.

Minister of Transportation Brian Mason says impaired driving is unacceptable and the loss accompanying impaired driving is entirely preventable.

“As the country prepares for legalization of cannabis, we’ve strengthened our provincial impaired driving sanctions to make our roads safer and continue to deter impaired driving —whatever the source of impairment may be,” Mason said.

Alberta police say they are committed to making the province’s roads and highways safe.

Supt. Gary Graham, officer in charge of Alberta Integrated Traffic Services, says Alberta RCMP will also continue with its commitment in raising awareness of impaired driving.

“We will continue to take impaired drivers, whether by drugs or alcohol, off Alberta roadways and anticipate these laws will help more people think twice about getting behind the wheel if they are under the influence,” said Supt. Graham.

On April 9, the following new impaired driving laws will come into effect in Alberta:

• All criminally impaired drivers will receive a 90-day licence suspension followed by mandatory participation in a one-year ignition interlock program. Should the driver choose not to participate in ignition interlock, the licence suspension will remain in place during this one-year term.

• These are provincial sanctions. Drivers will continue to be subject to criminal charges and all the associated penalties imposed by the courts, in addition to the provincial consequences.

• There will be zero tolerance for Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program drivers for cannabis and illegal drugs in the bloodstream, in addition to alcohol. GDL drivers found with any amount of alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs or their combination will find the driver subject to a 30-day licence suspension, seven-day vehicle seizure and a lengthened term in the GDL program. (GDL drivers who meet the requirements for criminal-level impaired driving will be subject to the sanctions and penalties mentioned above.)

• Updates have been made to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board’s procedures, streamlining their processes. For example, there will be limits on the number of reconsiderations the board is required to hear in the absence of new evidence.

The legislation institutes a fixed-term suspension of 90 days as a direct way of addressing the legalization of marijuana.

The licence suspension can be triggered if the investigating officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is criminally impaired by alcohol or drugs. This cane be done through testing by an approved screening device and the Standardized Field Sobriety Test.

In a nine year period from 2008 to 2015, 1001 people died as a result of alcohol or drug-impaired driving. More than 15,000 people were injured from impaired driving during the same time.

Just Posted

Notley promises extra $90M a year to reduce waits in surgery, emergency rooms

Leader says she’d keep funding specialized liaison teams so paramedics can get back to work faster

New Democrats would bring in $25 daycare if re-elected: Notley

Notley said the plan would include adding 13,000 daycare spaces

Upcoming Castor Byelection sees two names on ballot

Residents of Castor are going to the polls for the first time in over half a decade

Gus Wetter School hosts annual Early Years Fair

For fans of Paw Patrol, Wednesday Mar. 20 was quite an event in Castor

Funding requests and maintenance highlight County council Feb 12 meeting.

Friends of Coronation School Playground have submitted a request to County council for funding

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

One person dead in head-on collision near Stettler

Stettler RCMP investigate fatal collision

One Maskwacis man arrested after gun seized on reserve

Maskwacis RCMP locate loaded handgun during search warrant

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Refugee who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong arrives in Canada

Vanessa Rodel and her seven-year-old daughter Keana arrived in Toronto this week

New UMSCA trade deal getting a boost from Trump, business groups

The trade deal is designed to supplant the North American Free Trade Agreement

Trudeau says he, Wilson-Raybould had cordial conversation last week

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred regarding SNC-Lavalin and the PMO

SNC-Lavalin backtracks on CEO’s comments surrounding potential job losses

Top boss had said protecting 9,000 jobs should grant leniency

Most Read