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Alberta

Harsher penalties and quicker enforcement for Impaired drivers in Alberta

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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.

 

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Alberta

Trevali plans to reopen New Brunswick’s Caribou zinc mine but with 150 fewer staff

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CALGARY — Trevali Mining Corp. says it plans to reopen its Caribou Mine near Bathurst, N.B., after idling it 10 months ago amid poor zinc prices, but will operate it with a workforce of about 250, down from about 400 employees and contractors before it was closed.

The Vancouver-based miner says it expects to return to mining in early February, with first payable zinc production expected by the end of March.

Chief financial officer Brendan Creaney says zinc prices have rebounded from about 82 cents US per pound when mine production stopped to the current level between US$1.20 and US$1.30 and Trevali has contracted about 80 per cent of Caribou’s volumes for two years to remove price risk.

The company says it has brought in Redpath Mining Inc. as an underground mining contractor and its expertise and supply of larger equipment is expected to allow production to resume at cash flow positive costs of between 84 and 90 cents cents per pound of zinc by 2022.

It hopes to produce up to 65 million pounds of payable zinc, 23 million pounds of lead and 650,000 ounces of silver in 2021. Zinc output is expected to rise to as much as 77 million pounds in 2022.

It plans capital spending at the mine of $9 million this year and $2 million next year.

“Our initial two-year plan includes several enhancements which are designed to improve the mine’s economics, including the involvement of a contracted mining operator and the entry into fixed-pricing arrangements for a significant portion of the mine’s forecasted production,” said Trevali CEO Ricus Grimbeek.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to study the potential to extend our initial mine plan, as well as explore further potential in the Bathurst mining camp.”

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

Companies in this story: (TSX:TV)

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

French oil giant Total leaves U.S. energy group, months after exiting CAPP

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CALGARY — French oil and gas company Total says it will ditch its membership in the U.S.-based American Petroleum Institute because it disagrees on climate-related policies.

The move announced Friday follows its decision last July to drop out of the Calgary-based Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and write off $9.3-billion worth of oilsands assets in Alberta.

Total said in a statement Friday it would not renew its membership for 2021 following an analysis of API’s position on climate issues that has shown “certain divergences.”

The company notably mentions API’s “support during the recent elections to candidates who argued against the United States’ participation” in the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb climate change.

Total says it is working to provide cleaner energy and its CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, said the group wants to ensure that “the industry associations of which we are a member adopt positions and messages that are aligned with those of the group in the fight against climate change.”

Total said last summer it was leaving CAPP because of a “misalignment” between the organization’s public positions and those expressed in Total’s climate ambition statement announced last May.

At the time, CAPP CEO Tim McMillan called the decision “disappointing” and Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage called it “highly-hypocritical” given Total’s investments in other parts of the world.

Total’s decision to leave the API is significant, said Peter Frumhoff, the director of science and policy at the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists.

“It’s a very big deal for an oil major to take a position basically leaving the major trade association here in the United States,” he said.

With more than 600 members, API represents all segments of the oil and natural gas industry in the U.S.

Frumhoff said the move came just days after API’s president, Mike Summers, made a speech in which he said the group would fight regulation of methane emissions, restrictions on drilling on public lands and support for charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

He added that Total’s decision put pressure on oil companies BP and Shell, which both said they aim at fighting greenhouse gas emissions, “to put their political power where their mouth is and do the same.”

President-elect Joe Biden, who has said he wants to focus on fighting climate change, has pledged to have the U.S. rejoin the Paris accord on the first day of his presidency.

With files from the Associated Press

The Canadian Press

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january, 2021

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