The province of Alberta has provincial suspension rules that impose penalties on drivers who are found driving under the influence of alcohol or driving with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 or refusing to provide a breath sample to a police officer. Alberta Administrative License Suspension (AALS) regime was amended in April 2018.
Before the amendment, drivers had their license suspended for an indefinite period upon being charged with impaired driving. People who used the right to have a trial had to proceed without their license. However, in 2017, the Alberta Court of Appeal found indefinite license suspension as unconstitutional. As a result, the Government of Alberta introduced new laws.
How new legislation reshaped the administrative suspension
A person charged with DUI after the amendment has to deal with two different aspects of suspension regime. First, a 90-day driving prohibition period during which the driver can’t drive under any circumstances. Second, people charged with DUI have to face 1-year driving suspension from the date of the charge.
However, during this period, a person may be able to drive. For instance, they may be able to drive on a restricted license if they participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. If someone charged with impaired driving doesn’t participate in the interlock program, they face license suspension for one year after the initial 90-day suspension.
If you’re charged with drunk driving in Alberta, you can get a total suspension of 15 months. To improve your situation, consult an experienced DUI lawyer in Alberta. The change in the trigger for the administrative license suspension is also a major feature of the new law. In the past, the suspension was applied as a result of a charge under the Criminal Code. Under the new suspension rules, the trigger is the police officer’s belief that someone engages in impaired driving.
If you were charged before the implementation of new laws and you have already served 90 days of suspension, you can apply for the Ignition Interlock Program. If you have served less than 90 days of suspension, you can apply for the Ignition Interlock Program after completing the 90 days. You have to apply to the Transportation Safety Board to qualify for the Interlock Program.
Can you get an exemption from the suspension?
It’s unlikely for a person charged with DUI to get an exemption from the administrative suspension. However, you have the right to appeal the administrative license suspension. If you want to go for the appeal, you have 30 days after being charged. However, it’s not advisable to file the appeal on weak legal grounds.
What if you plead guilty or you’re convicted of impaired driving after a trial?
The new provincial laws do not impact the way provisions in the Criminal Code function. In other words, if you have been found guilty, you’re subject to a mandatory driving prohibition, which is minimum one year, under the Criminal Code. New provincial laws also don’t impact the mandatory Ignition Interlock program. A good DUI lawyer can help you conclude your case with the desired outcomes.
If you have been charged with a DUI offence in Edmonton, don’t waste any time, use your right to counsel. Salferek Callihoo is a proven team of DUI defence lawyers who are committed to assisting their clients and providing the best legal guidance. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!