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Alberta

Impaired drivers in Alberta to face larger fines and lose vehicles for up to 30 days

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From the Province of Alberta

Tough, swift penalties for impaired drivers

The Provincial Administrative Penalties Act empowers police to get impaired drivers off the streets immediately.

Starting Dec. 1, police will be able to administer stricter impaired driving penalties on the road, while most first-time impaired driving charges will be handled quicker outside of court through SafeRoads Alberta. Impaired drivers could face larger fines and lose their vehicles for up to 30 days.

SafeRoads Alberta, a new adjudication branch, will allow drivers to pay their fees online, request more time to pay their penalty, or dispute their Immediate Roadside Sanction or vehicle seizure.

In the most serious cases, including repeat offenders and impaired driving causing bodily harm or death, individuals will still receive criminal charges on top of the other penalties.

Quick facts

  • Under the new impaired driving laws, significant penalties will be handed out roadside, getting impaired drivers off the streets immediately. Stronger penalties for impaired driving include:
    • Fines of up to $2,000
    • Vehicle seizure up to 30 days
    • New mandatory education programs for repeat offenders
    • Mandatory ignition interlock for repeat offenders
  • New zero-tolerance consequences for novice drivers and commercial drivers will also be introduced.
  • The Alberta Transportation Safety Board will finish hearing cases submitted before Dec. 1 and is expected to wrap up operations by March 31, 2021

Response from MADD to New Alberta approach to penalties for impaired drivers

Alberta’s New Sanctions Will Reduce Impaired Driving and Save Lives

New sanctions and penalties going into effect in Alberta on December 1 will reduce impaired driving, save lives and make roads safer, says MADD Canada.

Alberta’s Provincial Administrative Penalties Act introduced several new measures to combat impaired driving. They include: additional fines for drivers in the warn range (.05% and .08% BAC) and for new drivers who violate the zero alcohol and drug requirement; a new zero alcohol and drug requirement for commercial drivers; and a new Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) program for certain impaired drivers over the legal limit of .08% BAC.

“When we look at ways to deter impaired driving, make roads safer and save lives, provincial administrative sanctions such as these are among the most effective,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. “We are pleased to see these changes coming into effect and thank the Government of Alberta for its leadership.”

The new IRS program is similar to programs in British Columbia and Manitoba, which provide an administrative option for sanctioning certain impaired drivers over the .08% BAC limit. In Alberta, those penalties include: a 15-month licence suspension, a 30-day vehicle impoundment, increased fines, ignition interlock requirements and remedial education requirements.

“This kind of administrative sanction option for certain impaired driving offenders provides a way to get them off the roads quickly while ensuring they still face strong consequences for their actions,” said Mr. Murie. “Most importantly, these programs save lives. Similar measures introduced in British Columbia have helped reduce alcohol-related crash deaths by 50%. That is hundreds of lives saved.”

It is important to note that the IRS program is not an option for all impaired drivers. It does not apply to repeat offenders or to impaired drivers who cause bodily harm or death; those offenders will continue to face Criminal Codecharges.

IRS programs also ease the burden on court and police resources, Mr. Murie noted, which ultimately helps the Criminal Code impaired driving charges that are laid proceed through the courts in a more timely fashion.

MADD Canada supports all provinces having immediate roadside sanction programs. It is a key recommendation in MADD Canada’s latest impaired driving policy recommendations: The Top 10 Report: Provincial/Territorial Recommendations to Minimize Impaired Driving and Support Victims.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Oilers place goalie Mike Smith on long-term injured reserve

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EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers have placed goaltender Mike Smith on long-term injury reserve, and have re-assigned Olivier Rodrigue to the club’s taxi squad, pending quarantine protocols. 

Edmonton announced both transaction on Friday, but did not elaborate on Smith’s injury.

Smith was supposed to start Thursday’s game at home against the Vancouver Canucks but was declared inactive, forcing Mikko Koskinen into back-to-back starts. 

Smith and Koskinen were expected to split duties in the Oilers net this season. Edmonton re-signed the 38-year-old Smith to a one-year contract in the off-season. 

Rodrigue had been with the Graz99ers of the Austrian National League.

The 20-year-old Rodrigue was drafted 62nd overall by Edmonton in 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 15, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta health minister says vaccine schedule to take hit from manufacturing delays

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s health minister says it will take longer than expected to start immunizing seniors over 75 outside long-term care homes due to a delay in manufacturing one of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Tyler Shandro called the news out of Ottawa on Friday a blow and said it’s not clear how severely the delay will affect Alberta’s vaccine allocation in the coming weeks. 

“This is out of our control, but it will impact Alberta’s immunization schedule,” he said Friday. 

The schedule for seniors over 75, regardless of where they live, and Indigenous people over 65 is up in the air because it will take longer to immunize priority health-care workers, Shandro said. 

“We had hoped to announce the start of these vaccinations in the coming days, but that is now in question.”

Federal officials said earlier in the day that only half of promised Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses will arrive in the next month due to production issues in Belgium. 

“This is unfortunate news and we are all disappointed. However, we will not stop,” Shandro said. “Health officials will continue giving out what vaccines we do have as quickly as possible.”

Senior medical officer of health Laura McDougall said Alberta is still ramping up its ability to administer vaccines and has been able to deliver more shots than expected so far.

 She said the province has recruited pharmacists, retired health-care workers and nursing students to give out shots and pop-up clinics have been set up in emergency departments to reach more front-line staff. 

“We have enough immunizers and more than enough people wanting to be immunized,” McDougall said. “What we need is more vaccine.”

Alberta reported 785 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday along with 13 more deaths. There were 796 people in hospital, with 124 of those in intensive care.

More than 74,000 vaccine doses have been given out so far, and the province still aims to administer 50,000 a week by the end of January if there is enough supply. 

— By Lauren Krugel in Calgary

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2020.  

The Canadian Press

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