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

Supporters rally for Jason Kenney as UCP leader stops in Red Deer

Kenney promises equalization reform, stopping ‘Trudeau-Notley’ payroll hike, trade, economic mobility

‘Living Free’ talk supports Lacombe’s Mary C. Moore Public Library

Marco Ste. Marie will give a motivational talk on April 4th at the LMC

Blackfalds closing road for safety concerns

Motorists are required to use HWY 2A instead of Broadway Avenue

Merry Guanas poised to be Lacombe’s first cannabis dispensary

Cannabis retail owner expects a six-month wait before industry comes to city

Lacombe hosts 6th Invasive Species Council Conference at LMC

Council looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

WATCH: ‘Napalm Girl’ discusses journey from hatred to forgiveness in Lacombe

Burman University’s Herr Lecture Series welcomed Kim Phuc Phan Thi to Lacombe

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read