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Impaired Driving FAQ

The following information is provided as a general guideline and will not apply to every circumstance. It should not be considered a comprehensive guide for use to describe Edmonton Police Service policy and procedure. All circumstances are unique and have may have been dealt with in a different manner than described.

I’ve been charged with impaired driving and driving with over 80 milligrams percent. What happens now?
Generally, people charged with impaired driving are usually also requested to provide a breath sample. These will eventually form 2 separate charges, (impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol exceeding 80 milligrams in 100 millilitres of blood), however, if found guilty only one conviction is usually entered and the other charge withdrawn.
What happens to my driving privileges?
In most circumstances, you would have had an administrative license suspension, (Administrative License Suspension/Disqualification). Your Alberta Driver’s License would have been seized and a Temporary Operator’s Permit would have been served to you in it’s place.

This is your new driver’s licence. This means that upon your release from police custody a 24-hour provincial driving suspension will take effect. Once the 24-hour suspension expires you will have 21 days of driving privileges to give you time to make alternate transportation arrangements. After 21 days pass a 3 month provincial driving prohibition will take effect where you are no longer authorized to operate a motor vehicle and are, in fact, suspended.

Consequences for driving while suspended vary but for a first offence you can expect to have your vehicle seized for 30 days and a summons issued compelling your attendance in court to answer to driving while suspended. If convicted, you may face an additional penalty and/or monetary fine.
If I am convicted of ‘impaired driving’, or ‘exceeding 80 mg/%’ or ‘refusing to provide a breath sample’, what penalties can I face?
For a first offence, a ‘typical’ decision will assess a monetary fine of at least $600 and a 1 year driving prohibition. Sometimes, the Judge will allow you to make application for the installation of an ‘interlock’, (a ‘breathalyser’ type instrument installed in your vehicle at your cost), after a 3 month suspension. This is not granted automatically, but, you can request this issue be addressed during sentencing by the Judge sitting on your matter in court. Subsequent offences can be discussed with an accused person’s legal counsel of their choice.
What is the ‘Ignition Interlock’ program?
The ignition interlock is an in-car blood alcohol screening device that prevents the operation of a motor vehicle if a driver’s blood alcohol is over a pre-set limit. Once the vehicle has started the driver is required to provide random samples of breath. It is located inside the vehicle and is connected to the vehicles ignition system.

A person convicted of impaired driving, (first offence), may be allowed to apply for ignition interlock after a period of time has passed under suspension. There is a program fee, an installation fee and a monthly monitoring fee. The cost can vary and is the responsibility of the offender. This instrument is available from a private company with information available from the courts.