Drinking & Driving

Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS)

This program came into effect in Alberta on December 1, 2020 and largely replaces Criminal charges for Impaired driving.

If you are stopped by police and “fail” the roadside breathalyzer test, you will be subject to severe penalties. The same is true if you refuse or are physically unable to blow an adequate breath sample. These penalties include:

  • Licence Suspension – 90 days (beginning immediately) followed by a 12-month participation in the Ignition Interlock Program
  • Vehicle Seizure – 30 days
  • Fine(s) – $1,000 plus a 20% surcharge

The penalties if you get caught a 2nd or 3rd time increase dramatically!

Learn more about the penalties here.

You only have 7 days from the time the police charged you to appeal these penalties by filing for an IRS Review.

Call or contact as soon as possible, as we have conducted hundreds of IRS Reviews and similar reviews at the Transportation Safety Board. We can assess whether you may succeed in your appeal and conduct the IRS Review on your behalf.

Moving On From Your Charge

Impaired Driving Charges

Impaired driving charges can include driving while impaired, driving while your blood alcohol concentration is over the legal limit, and refusing or failing to provide a breath or blood sample.

At our Calgary-based defence firm, Muenz Criminal Law, we offer personalized criminal defence strategies to help protect your legal rights and privileges.

What Are You Facing?

If you are convicted of impaired driving, you will receive a criminal record, a fine, a driving prohibition, and significant increases in your insurance rates. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could also be facing incarceration.

If you are charged with impaired driving, you will also likely receive an immediate 15-month provincial license suspension. Part of our legal strategy includes arguing in front of the Alberta Transportation Safety Board as to why your license suspension should be cancelled.

Drinking & Impaired Driving Legal Representation in Calgary, Alberta

An impaired driving conviction can have devastating consequences and you need an experienced criminal defence lawyer in your corner.

Our team at Muenz Criminal Defence will thoroughly review the circumstances of your case and evaluate the strength of the Crown’s case against you. We will identify possible defences in your case including violations of your constitutional rights, and weaknesses or inconsistencies in the police disclosure(s). We will help you understand your options as well as the potential consequences of the choices you will have to make.

What You Should Do Following an Impaired Driving Charge

If you’ve been accused of dangerous or impaired driving under the Traffic Safety Act, it is important to understand what has been laid against you and what your options are going forward. If this was your first offence, you may be issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty, which outlines the total length of time your vehicle will be seized, your total license suspension time, and your fine amount.

While you may not receive demerit points following an impaired driving charge, you will be issued immediate consequences that can lead to difficulties moving forward with your life. In addition, repeat driving offences will stay on your record for upwards to 10 years in Alberta — meaning with a criminal record, you may have trouble:

  • Applying for citizenship
  • Traveling across the Canada-US border
  • Finding employment
  • Difficulties in family court, or child custody cases
  • Accessing scholarships or educational opportunities in programs such as medicine, child care, and banking or accounting

My firm will help you develop a defence strategy that aligns with your priorities, whether it is reinstating your driver’s license, avoiding a criminal record, or pleading guilty to a lesser offence.

Start Working on Your Defence Today

Get in touch with our defence firm to find out how we can help you.

Call 403 543-6666 or send us an email using our online form.

BILINGUAL SERVICES AVAILABLE:

MY FIRM'S STAFF CAN TRANSLATE AND EXPLAIN THE LEGAL PROCESS TO YOU IN SPANISH AND ITALIAN.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Ignition Interlock Program is a blood screening device that is installed into your vehicle to prevent usage if the operator’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) levels measure over a pre-set limit. Once the vehicle has been started, the driver is required to provide random breath samples.

To learn more about the Alberta Ignition Interlock Program, visit the online overview or contact my law firm to see if you are eligible for this program following your impaired driving conviction.

If an officer has a reasonable suspicion that an individual is driving under the influence of drugs, they have the power to demand that you perform a roadside sobriety test or DRE. Refusal to perform a roadside sobriety test can result in additional criminal charges and penalties, and can even lead to your arrest.

A DRE, standing for Drug Recognition Evaluation, involves taking the following measurements:

  • Pulse
  • Pupil size
  • Blood pressure
  • Current body temperature
  • Your eye’s visual reactivity to light
  • Divided attention tests, such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test or a Vertical Gaze Nystagmus (VGN) test

If a DRE test determines a driver to be impaired, the officer will request a bodily-fluid sample and charges will be laid once the results from this sample are confirmed.

Depending on whether this is your first charge, you may lose your license for up to a year or more. It is important to note that the period of time extends with the number of traffic safety offences on your record.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your charge, it may take around four to seven months for your plea to come to trial. During this time, we will thoroughly investigate and compile together any evidence to help defend your case.