Impaired driving laws will soon change

Changes to impaired driving laws will come into effect on April 9

With the legalization of cannabis only three months away, Alberta is preparing by putting new impaired driving laws into effect.

Beginning April 9, drivers will be subject to the new laws under the Act to Reduce Cannabis and Alcohol-Impaired Driving. Impaired driving includes those with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or over, drivers impaired by drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, and drivers who fail or refuse to comply with a demand for a breath or blood sample, according to a press release from the Government of Alberta.

Minister of Transportation Brian Mason says impaired driving is unacceptable and the loss accompanying impaired driving is entirely preventable.

“As the country prepares for legalization of cannabis, we’ve strengthened our provincial impaired driving sanctions to make our roads safer and continue to deter impaired driving —whatever the source of impairment may be,” Mason said.

Alberta police say they are committed to making the province’s roads and highways safe.

Supt. Gary Graham, officer in charge of Alberta Integrated Traffic Services, says Alberta RCMP will also continue with its commitment in raising awareness of impaired driving.

“We will continue to take impaired drivers, whether by drugs or alcohol, off Alberta roadways and anticipate these laws will help more people think twice about getting behind the wheel if they are under the influence,” said Supt. Graham.

On April 9, the following new impaired driving laws will come into effect in Alberta:

• All criminally impaired drivers will receive a 90-day licence suspension followed by mandatory participation in a one-year ignition interlock program. Should the driver choose not to participate in ignition interlock, the licence suspension will remain in place during this one-year term.

• These are provincial sanctions. Drivers will continue to be subject to criminal charges and all the associated penalties imposed by the courts, in addition to the provincial consequences.

• There will be zero tolerance for Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program drivers for cannabis and illegal drugs in the bloodstream, in addition to alcohol. GDL drivers found with any amount of alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs or their combination will find the driver subject to a 30-day licence suspension, seven-day vehicle seizure and a lengthened term in the GDL program. (GDL drivers who meet the requirements for criminal-level impaired driving will be subject to the sanctions and penalties mentioned above.)

• Updates have been made to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board’s procedures, streamlining their processes. For example, there will be limits on the number of reconsiderations the board is required to hear in the absence of new evidence.

The legislation institutes a fixed-term suspension of 90 days as a direct way of addressing the legalization of marijuana.

The licence suspension can be triggered if the investigating officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is criminally impaired by alcohol or drugs. This cane be done through testing by an approved screening device and the Standardized Field Sobriety Test.

In a nine year period from 2008 to 2015, 1001 people died as a result of alcohol or drug-impaired driving. More than 15,000 people were injured from impaired driving during the same time.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Aurora Rafer has been found unharmed

RCMP have a man in custody and continue to investigate

The Sadies slide into the City on Nov. 6th

Popular band gearing up for a show at The Hideout

Recreational pot is now officially legal

Here are some things you need to know and how legal recreational pot will affect you in Red Deer

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

WATCH: Canadian Finals Rodeo only two weeks away

Mayor calls CFR an opportunity to showcase Red Deer

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read