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Impaired Driving Charges

An impaired driving charge involves a number of items. Usually, a Promise To Appear, Notice of Intention To Seek Greater Punishment, Certificate of Analysis, and an Alberta Administrative License Suspension/Disqualification form are given to the accused.

The Promise To Appear
is a document compelling your attendance to court for two dates: The first date filled in is instructions for you to attend police main headquarters for fingerprints and photographs. You will attend on the date indicated, between the hour(s) described on your P.T.A.. The next date is your first appearance in court. This is where you will attend court on the date and time indicated and decide whether you are going to plead guilty and deal with the matter at that time, or, plead not guilty and set a date for trial. This document is legally compelling you to attend court. Failure to attend either date set out may lead to an additional criminal charge of Failing To Appear and may involve a warrant being issued for your arrest.

The Notice of Intention To Seek Greater Punishment is issued regardless of your individual circumstance. Simply stated, it describes what you are charged with and that if you have previously been convicted of those same charges the Crown Prosecutor may seek a greater punishment, (if convicted), because you are not considered a first-time offender.

The Certificate of Analysis is issued with the readings obtained on an Approved Instrument. There are 2 readings: In Canada, the legal limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. On the Certificate it will have 2 truncated, (rounded down to the nearest tenth), readings that the Qualified Breath Technician obtained

An Administrative Licence Suspension may be issued to a driver charged under the Criminal Code for:

Blood alcohol content greater than .08
Ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination
Refusal to comply with a lawful demand of a peace officer (e.g., for a breath sample)

Refusal to provide a breath sample continues to result in a charge under the Criminal Code (Canada) and an immediate suspension, which will remain in effect until all impaired related criminal charges are resolved.

Consequences for Impaired Driving

First Criminal Code Conviction within 10 years:
License Suspension: Immediate 3 day suspension
Vehicle Seizure: 3 days
Appeal: Immediate Roadside Appeal
Remedial Course: Not required
Alberta Transportation Safety Board Hearing: Not required
Costs: Towing and impound charges

Second Criminal Code Conviction within 10 years:
License Suspension: Immediate 15 day suspension
Vehicle Seizure: 7 days
Appeal: Immediate Roadside and Board Appeal
Remedial Course: One-day "Planning Ahead" or equivalent
Alberta Transportation Safety Board Hearing: Upon referral by Registrar
Costs: Towing and impound charges, Course, and Application for Board Hearing.

Third/Subsequent Criminal Code Conviction within 10 years:

License Suspension: Immediate 30 day suspension
Vehicle Seizure: 7 days
Appeal: Immediate Roadside and Board Appeal
Remedial Course: Weekend live-in assessment and pre-treatment course (IMPACT), or equivalent
Alberta Transportation Safety Board Hearing:  Mandatory
Costs: Towing and impound charges, Course, and Application for Board Hearing.

Alberta Zero Alcohol Tolerance Program (Graduated Driver’s Licence)

Each Offence:
License Suspension: Immediate 30 day suspension
Vehicle Seizure: 7 days
Appeal: Yes
Costs: Towing and impound charges

Second/Subsequent Offences: Successive 30-day suspensions will result in the driver remaining in the Graduated Driver Licensing program until one year of suspension free driving is reached.

Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device Program

Individuals convicted under sections 253, 254 or 255 of the Criminal Code (Canada) must successfully complete the IIP in order to obtain full licencing privileges.

Terms of the IIP:

First Criminal Code Conviction within 10 years:
Term: 1 year – Registrar may extend until the offender no longer poses a significant risk to public safety.
Costs: Program application, Device installation, Device rental, Application for restricted licence, Additional entry requirements, Device removal.

Second Criminal Code Conviction within 10 years:
Term: 3 years - Registrar may extend until the offender no longer poses a significant risk to public safety.
Costs: Program application, Device installation, Device rental, Application for restricted licence, Additional entry requirements, Device removal, Registrar may require Addictions Assessment and Monitoring.

Third/Subsequent Criminal Code Conviction within 10 years:
Term: 5 years - Registrar may extend until the offender no longer poses a significant risk to public safety.
Costs: Program application, Device installation, Device rental, Application for restricted licence, Additional entry requirements, Device removal, Registrar may require Addictions Assessment and Monitoring.