Provincial limits for alcohol

In Alberta, and in most other Canadian jurisdictions, 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 face a provincial sanction through the IRS: WARN Program.

For more information, please refer to the IRS: WARN information sheet (PDF, 363 KB).

Sanctions

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

If your driver’s licence has been suspended under the IRS: WARN Program because law enforcement had reasonable grounds to believe you operated a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 and 0.079, you will receive the following:

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.

Second breath test

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 resuts 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.

File a review with SafeRoads Alberta

Through SafeRoads Alberta, you can:

  • request a review of your contravention under the IRS: WARN Program
  • request a review of your vehicle seizure under the IRS: WARN Program

For information on filing a review, please contact SafeRoads Alberta.

Fine payment

Starting on January 1, 2021, Alberta’s victim fine surcharge will be included in the total amount of your Notice of Administrative Penalty fine. A victim surcharge is a fine imposed on a person convicted of an offence or who commits a contravention under provincial laws. These funds are used to provide programs, services and assistance to victims of crime and to fund public safety initiatives to deter crime and reduce victimization.

Through SafeRoads Alberta, you can:

  • pay your administrative fine
  • request more time to pay

At this time, this fine cannot be paid at an Alberta registry agent.

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)

Connect with SafeRoads Alberta:

SafeRoads contact form
Phone: 780-427-SAFE
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)