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.

Additional resources:

Overview

An ignition interlock device is an in-vehicle alcohol breath-sensing device that measures the breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) levels of the driver. The device prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects a BrAC over a pre-set limit. It is located inside the vehicle, near the driver's seat, and is connected to the engine's ignition system.

For more information, please refer to the Ignition Interlock Program Participant Guide.

How it works

An ignition interlock device must be used by anyone who operates the vehicle. Training is provided by the service provider upon installation and by request, during the program. Before you start your vehicle, you will need to blow into the device to provide a breath sample. If your BrAC is over the pre-set limit, your vehicle won't start.

Once your vehicle is started, the ignition interlock device will ask you to provide breath samples at both random and pre-set times while the engine is running. If you do not provide a sample, or if your BrAC exceeds the limit, the device will issue a warning, record the event and activate specific alarm systems (for example, lights flashing, horn honking) until you turn off the ignition.

Programs

Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program: If your driver’s licence is suspended through an impaired driving-related Criminal Code (Canada) conviction, you will be required to participate in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program.

Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension (AALS) Ignition Interlock Program: If your driver’s licence has been suspended under the AALS Program, you may wish to participate in the AALS Ignition Interlock Program to gain restricted driving privileges while you serve your suspension term.

Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) Program of IRS FAIL: If your driver’s licence has been suspended under the IRS FAIL Program, you may wish to participate in the IRS FAIL Ignition Interlock Program to gain restricted driving privileges while you serve your suspension term.

Appeals / Reviews of Ignition Interlock Program-related decisions

You can file a review or an appeal of an Ignition Interlock Program-related decision to:

  • if the decision letter you have received is dated on or before November 30, 2020, please apply to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) by purchasing an application form (form number REG1066) from any Alberta registry agent.
  • if the decision letter you have received is dated on or after December 1, 2020, please apply through the Registrar Reconsideration process.

Examples of decisions that can be reviewed by the ATSB or the Registrar Reconsideration process are:

  • your application to participate in the IIP has been denied
  • your IIP participation term has been extended
  • you have been removed from the IIP
  • you have been denied an exemption from participating in Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program

It is important to note that the only applications eligible for a Registrar’s Reconsideration are those that are able to provide the following:

  • Indication of error made by Alberta Transportation on the original decision, or
  • New information that was not available to/considered by Alberta Transportation in the original decision

If you have any further questions regarding the Registrar Reconsideration process, please visit the Registrar Reconsideration website.

As per the Traffic Safety Act, a request for a review / appeal must be made within 30 calendar days of the date you received the decision letter

Contact

Connect with Driver Fitness and Monitoring:

Driver fitness monitoring contact form

Phone: 780-427-8230
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

Hours: 8:15 am to 12 pm, and 1 to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Connect with the Registrar Reconsideration process:

You must complete an online application.

If you have any further questions regarding the Registrar Reconsideration process, please visit the Registrar Reconsideration website.

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