Status: Bill 21 received royal assent July 23, 2020
Ministry responsible: Justice and Solicitor General

Overview

Bill 21, the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act will change how we penalize impaired drivers and handle traffic ticket disputes by taking them out of the courts to free up court and police resources to focus on the most serious offences.

The act introduces new immediate roadside penalties to get impaired drivers off the street. Many first time offenders will be able to deal with these penalties through a new online traffic dispute system. The most serious cases, including repeat offences and impaired driving causing harm, will receive the same roadside penalties and be prosecuted in court.

Implementing an approach with immediate and severe consequences has been proven to deter impaired driving in B.C. With these changes, Alberta will have among the toughest impaired driving laws in the country.

Key changes

Bill 21 will:

  • introduce a new Immediate Roadside Sanction program in late 2020 with serious, immediate and escalating consequences for impaired drivers, including:
    • new fines up to $2,000
    • increased length of vehicle seizure up to 30 days for certain offences
    • new mandatory education programs for repeat offenders
    • increased driver’s licence suspensions for repeat offenders
    • expanded mandatory ignition interlock for repeat offenders
  • launch an online ticket dispute system in 2021 to:
    • make it easier for Albertans to pay, request more time to pay, or dispute a ticket
    • free up courts and police to focus on the most serious matters
  • enshrine into law that commercial drivers must have zero blood alcohol and drug concentrations on the job

Fact Sheet: Provincial Administrative Penalties Act (PDF, 170 KB)

Next steps

Bill 21 is part of a larger Justice Transformation Initiative that will be implemented in three phases:

  • Phase 1: create an adjudication branch with a mandate to resolve impaired driving-related contraventions of the Traffic Safety Act, to be operational in the fall of 2020. Also strengthen the administrative penalties for impaired driving.
  • Phase 2: expand the jurisdiction of the adjudication branch to address all other contraventions of the Traffic Safety Act, except those that result in bodily harm or death, by the end of 2021.
  • Phase 3: expand the administrative adjudication process such that it could be adopted and adapted for use by any regulated area of provincial jurisdiction. The timeline for Phase 3 diversion will be determined upon the conclusion of Phase 2.

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