December 23, 2020
Submitted by Calgary Police Service
The following outlines the new procedure for commercial drivers and the consequences of becoming subject to immediate roadside sanctions if stopped by law enforcement and mandatory alcohol screening, or a Roadside screening test shows evidence of alcohol consumption.
Effective Dec. 1 2020, the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act came into force and introduced new legislation to the Provincial Traffic Safety Act in relation to how impaired drivers, through alcohol and/or drugs are dealt with.
The legislation has created a new offence that the operators of commercial vehicles should be aware of.
Alberta has followed other provinces and territories across Canada and introduced new legislation to provide serious, immediate and escalating consequences for all impaired drivers.
Commercial Drivers – Zero Tolerance
As of Dec. 1 2020, any driver operating a commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 11,794 kg or greater, or the driver of a commercial vehicle with a seating capacity of 11 or more passengers, will have zero tolerance for alcohol. This means if a driver who is subject to a Mandatory Alcohol Screening test (MAS), or a road-side screening test, provides a sample with a reading of anything other than zero, the driver will be subject to the following sanctions:
Fine of $300 + the Victim Fine Surcharge of 20% = $360.00
Provincial Licence Suspension of three days
The commercial vehicle will not be subject to seizure, but could be towed if you are on a highway and the officer feels the vehicle is causing a roadside hazard .
Refusal to provide a sample of breath
A refusal to provide a sample of breath for an MAS or a roadside screening demand is a Criminal Code offence and will lead to the following immediate roadside sanctions:
Fine of $1000 + the Victim Fine Surcharge of 20% = $1200.00
Provincial Licence Suspension of 90 days followed by a 12-month Alberta Ignition Interlock program.
Mandatory attendance at a one-day education program
A vehicle seizure of 30 days.
*For commercial drivers, the vehicle or power unit will be seized, the carrier will be allowed to remove any goods that were being carried, or in the case of a trailer have the trailer only, towed from the impound lot*.
Driving while disqualified
When suspended from driving as a result of an Immediate Roadside Sanction, if a driver is found to be driving ANY vehicle, they will be issued with a summons for a mandatory court appearance, and the vehicle will be seized for a period of 30 days.
*For commercial drivers, the vehicle or power unit will be seized, the carrier will be allowed to remove any goods that were being carried, or in the case of a trailer have the trailer towed from the impound lot*.
The Court has the ability to:
Impose a Fine of $5000, and impose a custodial sentence if the fine is not paid.
Impose an additional 6 six month licence suspension