If you are found guilty of driving over the criminal limits for alcohol or drugs, you can face serious criminal penalties in addition to any provincial penalties that apply.
In all Canadian provinces, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for fully licensed drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood or 0.08. Driving with a BAC of 0.08 or more is a criminal (federal) offence and the penalties are severe.
In Alberta, and in most other Canadian jurisdictions, if your BAC is between 0.05 and 0.079, you will also face provincial impaired driving penalties.
Mandatory alcohol screening
Federal legislation for mandatory alcohol screening authorizes police officers to request a breath test for BAC from any driver they lawfully stop.
Police officers can demand a preliminary breath sample to test for alcohol without reasonable suspicion the driver has alcohol in their body.
Sober or not, a driver who refuses to provide a breath sample can be criminally charged with refusal to provide a sample. Failure to comply is considered a criminal offence and could result in a criminal charge as well as any applicable provincial penalties.
For more information on the new legislation and mandatory alcohol screening, visit Justice Canada’s Question and Answers page.
If police determine you are driving while impaired by any drug, including illegal drugs, cannabis, prescription and over-the-counter medications, you will face severe consequences, including federal criminal charges and penalties and provincial sanctions.
Penalties for criminal-level impaired driving offences can be found in Part VIII.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
If you are found guilty of criminal-level impaired driving, you may be required to:
- complete a Federal Driving Prohibition as stated on the Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender issued by the Courts
- pay a reinstatement fee at any Alberta registry agent
- complete an education course
- successfully participate in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program for a prescribed term
- successfully complete a road test at any Alberta registry agent
See your Notice of Suspension for full suspension and reinstatement details.
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