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Changes to impaired driving laws
Alberta’s impaired driving laws changed effective December 1, 2020. A new Immediate Roadside Sanctions 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.
Demerit points and consequences
Demerit points are recorded against your driving record when you are convicted of an offence.
You are convicted of an offence when you:
- pay the fine assessed on your ticket voluntarily
- appear in court and are found guilty
- fail to appear in court and are 'convicted (guilty) in absence'
Convictions and times when your driver's licence privileges have been suspended remain on your driving record for 10 years and will appear on your driver's abstract.
If you have accumulated 8 to 14 demerit points within a 2-year period, you will receive a letter notifying you of your demerit point standing.
If you have accumulated 15 or more demerit points within a 2-year period your driver's licence privileges will be automatically suspended for a period of time.
When the time of your suspension has been served, your driver's licence privileges will be reinstated with 7 demerit points remaining on your driver's licence record. These points remain on your driver record for a period of 2 years from the reinstated date on the letter.
Graduated Driver Licence (GDL) drivers
If you have accumulated 4 to 7 demerit points within 2 years, you will receive a letter notifying you of your demerit point standing.
If you have accumulated 8 or more demerit points within a 2-year period, your driver's licence privileges will be automatically suspended for a period of time.
When the time of your suspension has been served, your driver's licence privileges will be reinstated with 3 demerit points remaining on your driver's licence record. These points will stay on your driver record for a period of 2 years from the assessed date.
Fully-licensed and GDL drivers
Driver's licence privilege suspensions:
- First – automatic 1 month suspension.
- Second (within 1 year) – automatic 3 month suspension.
- Third (within 2 years) – automatic 6 month suspension. You may be required to attend a review with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (Alberta Transportation).
You are required by law to give up your driver's licence on or before the date your suspension begins. This can be done at any Alberta Registry Agent office.
You may be eligible for a Restricted Driver's Licence.
You may not appeal a demerit point suspension. However, you may request a review of the demerit points to ensure they were not were assigned in error. If you believe demerit points were assigned to your driver's licence in error, you can submit a request in writing to Driver Fitness and Monitoring to have your record reviewed as per section 99 of the Traffic Safety Act. Convictions can only be removed from your driving record by an appeal through the courts. Contact any Alberta Provincial Court for more information.
When 2 years have passed from the date of a conviction, the demerit points assessed for that conviction are removed from your driver's record.
If a Government-approved defensive driving course has been successfully completed prior to accumulating 15 or more points, a 3 point credit is applied to your driving record for a 2-year period. Contact a driving school for more information about government-approved defensive driving courses.
Demerit point penalties
Demerit point penalties for fully-licensed and GDL drivers
Demerit point penalties specific to GDL drivers
For more information about demerit points, demerit driving suspensions and the Restricted Driver’s Licence Program, visit the Demerit points web page.