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Changes to impaired driving laws
Alberta’s impaired driving laws are changing effective December 1, 2020. A new Roadside Sanction program will keep our roads safer by providing serious and immediate consequences for all impaired drivers. Read Freeing up police and courts to make Alberta safer for more information.
If your driver’s licence has been suspended under the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Program because law enforcement has reasonable grounds to believe you are criminally impaired while driving you will receive:
- an immediate 90-day driving suspension where driving is not permitted under any circumstances, and
- a one-year suspension where you are permitted to drive if you participate in the Ignition Interlock Program
If you choose not to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program, you will remain suspended from driving for one year in addition to the 90-day suspension.
Criminal charges resulting in a criminal conviction could affect your participation in the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program. You may be required to participate in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program.
For more information, see the Ignition Interlock Program information sheet.
You must be an Alberta resident to be eligible for an Alberta restricted driver’s licence.
You can apply to the Ignition Interlock Program when you have 30 days or less remaining in your minimum driving suspension term as indicated on the Notice of Suspension.
You must not be currently serving any other suspension(s) other than the current impaired driving suspension otherwise the Ignition Interlock Program application will be denied.
Driver Fitness and Monitoring must approve your Ignition Interlock Program application.
Driver Fitness and Monitoring can deny any Ignition Interlock Program Application in the interest of public safety. You can appeal this decision to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board.
You can expect to pay the following Ignition Interlock Program costs which are subject to change without notice:
- $145 plus GST for the ignition interlock device installation (there is an additional $100 surcharge for heavy trucks and specialty vehicles)
- $95 plus GST per month for the rental of the ignition interlock device
- $63 for the Ignition Interlock Program Application, in addition to the Alberta Registry Agent fee
- $50 plus GST for removal of the ignition interlock device
- fees for the Restricted Driver's Licence and road test, when applicable, must be paid at an Alberta registry agent
How to apply
Step 1. Determine if you are eligible
Review the information in the Notice of Suspension and determine whether you are eligible to apply and ready to participate in the program prior to paying the non-refundable Ignition Interlock Program Application fee.
Ensure you have 30 days or less remaining in your minimum driving suspension term before applying, otherwise your application may be denied and returned to you via regular mail.
Step 2. Complete the application
Visit any Alberta registry agent to purchase and complete your portion of the Ignition Interlock Program Application. The Ignition Interlock Program Application must be signed and dated or it will be returned to you for completion before it can be processed.
Step 3. Submit the application
Submit the Ignition Interlock Program Application form either in-person, by mail, email or fax to Driver Fitness and Monitoring.
If you lost your original Ignition Interlock Program Application and have submitted it to Driver Fitness and Monitoring for approval, a copy may be available if it has been more than 30 days since it was processed or approved. Contact Driver Fitness and Monitoring for information.
If you lost your original Ignition Interlock Program Application and did not yet submit it to Driver Fitness and Monitoring for approval, you must purchase another Ignition Interlock Program Application from any Alberta registry agent.
Step 4. You will be notified by mail
Driver Fitness and Monitoring will notify you by mail of whether or not you have been accepted to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program.
It can take up to 30 days for your application to be processed plus additional time for the application to be mailed to you. If it has been more than 40 days since you applied, contact Driver Fitness and Monitoring.
If you are accepted, you will receive the signed, approved application in the mail along with information on how to get the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle and training on how to operate the device.
Step 5. Get the ignition interlock device
Contact Smart Start Canada, Alberta’s ignition interlock service provider, to get the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.
Step 6. Get a restricted driver’s licence
Once the approved application is signed by the installer showing the installation is complete, you can bring the application to any Alberta registry agent to get a restricted driver’s licence.
Ensure you have satisfied all reinstatement conditions (including payment of the reinstatement fee(s)). The registry agent will validate your completed Ignition Interlock Program Application Form and retain it for further administrative processing.
You will be issued a restricted driver’s licence with a new status of “restricted to a vehicle with an alcohol sensing ignition interlock device”.
Restricted Driver’s Licence
You cannot operate any motor vehicle until you are issued a Restricted Driver’s Licence. If you do, you can receive additional charges of driving while suspended, vehicle seizure and additional sanctions/penalties.
Once you are issued a Restricted Driver’s Licence, you will only be legally permitted to drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock device.
If you drive a vehicle without an ignition interlock device, you can receive additional charges of driving while suspended, vehicle seizure and additional sanctions/penalties.
If you have been unlicensed for more than 3 years, you must complete a knowledge test, vision screening and road test at any Alberta registry agent. You will be responsible for related costs.
If a road test is required before you are re-licensed and you did not complete it prior to having the ignition interlock device installed, you cannot legally drive and you will need to make arrangements to get to an Alberta registry agent to take your road test.
The driver examiner may request that you show your Ignition Interlock Program Application Form.
Upon successful completion of the road test, ensure your completed Ignition Interlock Program Application Form is returned to you. You will submit the application form and the road test permit to the Alberta registry agent in exchange for a restricted driver’s licence.
Step 7. Choose how long you participate
If you want to legally drive during your one-year suspension, you must participate in the AALS IIP. You can choose to participate in the AALS IIP for any length of time during the one-year term. For example, some drivers choose to only drive and participate in the AALS IIP during the summer months of their one-year suspension and not drive during the winter months.
Your Ignition Interlock Program term length will begin once you have installed the ignition interlock device and obtained a restricted driver’s licence.
For more information, see the AALS IIP Process flow chart.
Step 8. Get the device removed
If you have chosen to continue driving while serving the AALS term, you can schedule an appointment with Smart Start to have the ignition interlock device removed after the last day of your AALS term.
Once the ignition interlock device is removed, Smart Start will send your last report readings to Driver Fitness and Monitoring. You will need to make arrangements to get to an Alberta registry agent to obtain your unrestricted driver’s licence.
If you receive another driving suspension or are criminally convicted while you are in the AALS Ignition Interlock Program, you must surrender your restricted driver’s licence to an Alberta registry agent and you have the option to:
- remove the ignition interlock device from your vehicle to serve any required federal driving prohibition and have it reinstalled once you are ready to fulfil the reinstatement requirements of the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program, or
- keep the ignition interlock device in your vehicle during the federal driving prohibition term even though you are not legally permitted to drive, provided you pay the monthly lease costs with the service provider
You are responsible for any costs associated with removing or reinstalling the ignition interlock device.
If you have the device removed, once you have served the additional suspension, you can schedule an appointment with Smart Start to reinstall the ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Once the ignition interlock device is reinstalled, you must be reissued a restricted driver’s licence from an Alberta registry agent and you will be re-informed of the AALS end date as indicated on the Notice of Suspension.
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