Provincial limits for alcohol

In Alberta, if law enforcement has reasonable grounds to believe that you operated a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 and 0.079 (equal to or exceeds 50 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, but less than 79 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood), you will be issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty under section 88.03 of the Traffic Safety Act through the Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) Program of IRS: WARN.

When appropriate, law enforcement has the ability to issue a Notice of Administrative Penalty under section 88.1 of the Traffic Safety Act in the IRS: FAIL Program (as well as issue a criminal charge for impaired driving).

Immediate roadside appeal

You can request a second breath test on a different instrument to confirm your blood alcohol concentration.

If the results of your second test is less than any prohibited alcohol concentration, your Notice of Administrative Penalty in the IRS: WARN Program will be cancelled by law enforcement.

If the results of your second test is equal to or greater than any prohibited alcohol concentration, your Notice of Administrative Penalty in the IRS: WARN Program will be confirmed by law enforcement.

Sanctions

Once the Notice of Administrative Penalty is issued by law enforcement, the driver’s licence suspension or disqualification begins immediately. A Confirmation of Suspension will be sent to the last known address listed on your motor vehicle file.

If you reside outside of Alberta, your home jurisdiction will be notified of the suspension or disqualification.

Repeat alcohol driving occurrences show a pattern of high-risk driving behaviour and therefore the penalties escalate with each prior occurrence.

If you are issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty under the IRS: WARN Program, you will receive the following sanctions:

First occurrence since September 1, 2012

You will receive:

  • an immediate 3-day driver’s licence suspension where you are unable to drive under any circumstances
  • a 3-day vehicle seizure
  • a $300 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%

Second occurrence since September 1, 2012

You will receive:

  • an immediate 15-day driver’s licence suspension where you are unable to drive under any circumstances
  • a 7-day vehicle seizure
  • a $600 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%
  • remedial education through the Crossroads course
    • the Planning Ahead course may also be accepted in lieu of the Crossroads course

If the remedial education requirement is not completed within 6 months of the IRS: WARN issue date, you will immediately receive a new indefinite administrative suspension for non-compliance and remain suspended until the remedial education course is completed.

Third (and subsequent) occurrence since September 1, 2012

You will receive:

  • an immediate 30-day driver’s licence suspension where you are unable to drive under any circumstances
  • a 7-day vehicle seizure
  • a $1,200 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%
  • remedial education through the IMPACT Program

If the remedial education requirement is not completed within 6 months of the IRS: WARN issue date, you will immediately receive a new indefinite administrative suspension for non-compliance and remain suspended until the remedial education course is completed.

File a review with SafeRoads

Through SafeRoads Alberta, you can request a review of your contravention under the IRS: FAIL Program.

Visit IRS Review for details on how to request a review.

Fine payment

Visit Pay your penalty for more information, to pay your fine, or request more time to pay.

Contact

Connect with Driver Fitness and Monitoring:

Driver fitness monitoring contact form

Connect with SafeRoads Alberta:

SafeRoads contact form

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