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

Erskine and area residents help couple who lost their home and belongings to a fire

Erskine Post Office accepting donations until end of January

MP Sorenson: New Year, New Beginning?

Economic outlook not so bright in coming months

Stettler Library has lots programs for public

Memberships are free for county and town residents

MLA: You don’t vote for the tail

Bureaucracy overtakes elected representatives

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Edmonton Police advise delays expected for Tuesday pro pipeline convoy

A pro-pipeline truck convoy is expected Tuesday morning on the Anthony Henday in Edmonton

Jason Kenney disputes expense allegations while MP

Questions over his residential expense claims from his time as a cabinet minister in Ottawa

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

Most Read