The Penalties For An Impaired Driving Charge Or Conviction

If a person is charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle, or with impaired care and control, Alberta traffic law automatically suspends the operator’s license for 90 days.

However, there is a grace period. The police take away your driver’s license, the plastic card, and they cut it up right there at the roadside. They will then issue you a paper driver’s license which is good for 14 days. This allows you an opportunity to get your affairs in order. Then automatically you become a suspended driver for 90 days. That is the case in Ontario and Alberta as well as several other jurisdictions.

If a person is convicted of impaired driving, or impaired care and control, or blood alcohol level in excess, or refusal, the penalties are the same. If the person is a first offender, with no prior record, they get a fine of at least $600 and typically it is in fact about $800 to a $1000 for a first offender. A second offender will go to jail for at least 14 days, and a third or subsequent offender is jailed for at least 90 days. In addition to that, of course, is the suspension of driving privileges because upon conviction for any of those offenses, the court is required by law to prohibit the person from driving any motor vehicle on any street, road, highway or other public place anywhere in Canada for a period of time. For a first offender, it is usually one year, although it can be more than that. Subsequent offenses go up to typically 3 years and 5 years. The exception is if the offender applies and is accepted into the Ignition Interlock Program.

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If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Edmonton, Alberta Region, contact Moreau & Company for a consultation.

This information is taken from an interview from December 6, 2007 with Paul Moreau LL.B., Criminal Lawyer with Moreau & Company,Edmonton Criminal Lawyers. The article is provided as an information service only and should not be used as legal advice. Laws vary by jurisdiction so please consult with an appropriate legal professional if you are looking for help with a specific situation.