Muenz Law Office Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer

On what grounds are drivers' licences suspended in Alberta?

In the province of Alberta, drivers can have their licences suspended and they are barred from driving not just in the province but all over Canada. The same applies here when a driver gets a licence suspension elsewhere.

Scofflaws who ignore these restrictions can face fines of as much as $2,000 or incarceration for two weeks to six months. Subsequent offences incur penalties of incarceration for the same period. An additional six months is also tacked onto the original licence suspension when a driver is convicted of driving under suspension of licence.

Drivers licences can be suspended for four different reasons:

-- Failing to pay fines or judgments related to motor vehicle matters.

-- Being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

-- Violations of a different criminal code section regarding driving.

-- Under the Traffic Safety Act, licence suspensions for as long as three months can be imposed if drivers do not take carry out specific duties following an accident; don't follow the rules under the Traffic Safety Act; violate municipal bylaws, such as speed limits; drive carelessly or violate National Parks Act regulations that fall under the Traffic Safety Act.

But there are additional reasons for driving licence suspensions that do not require convictions. The Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Program allows police who have probable and reasonable grounds for them to believe that drivers are impaired can demand they surrender their licence to drive. Drivers have to have blood alcohol levels higher than .08 per cent when measured by a Breathalyser test or fail to comply with the demand to submit a breath sample.

As one might imagine, not being able to drive can make work and daily activities extremely difficult to accomplish, which is why it is vital for Alberta residents to obtain legal counsel when facing such allegations.

Source: Student Legal Services of Edmonton, "Driver’s Licence Suspension," accessed Aug. 19, 2016

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