Alberta warns drivers of impaired driving consequences this Canada Day

Published: June 27, 2019

Updated: June 30, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Alberta’s police a preparing for another busy Canada Day weekend and the provincial government has reminded motorists of the penalties they face for impaired driving in Alberta.

Over Canada Weekend, impaired driving incidents typically increase as revelers travel for celebrations. Over the last five years, the average yearly rate for impaired driving convictions in Alberta is 6,000.

Data from the government says 855 people have died in impaired driving-related collisions and around 13,000 injured between 2008 and 2017.

In a press release, officials point to the penalties motorists face if find high or drunk behind the wheel this Canada Day weekend.

Drink Driving

Impaired driving laws in Alberta state a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher within two hours of driving is against provincial laws. Motorists with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.079 could be subject to the Immediate Roadside Suspension Program, which suspends their license on the spot.

Cannabis impairment

RCMP officials will also be on the lookout for cannabis impairment this weekend following last October’s legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

In Alberta, more than two ng/ml but less than five ng/ml of THC in blood carries a maximum fine of $1,000. Motorists with over five ng/ml of THC face the same $1,000 fine on a first offence and a mandatory 30 days in prison on a second offence. For a third offence, there is a 120-day mandatory prison sentence.

Drivers are within their rights to refuse a sample, but the penalty for doing so and then convicted of cannabis impairment face a $2,000 fine for a first time offence, a mandatory 30-day stint in prison on their second offence, and 120 days in prison on their third offence.