The Alberta Administrative License Suspension (AALS) applies to you and your license if you have been pulled over for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and you:
- were found to be in violation of the federal legal limits for alcohol, cannabis or a combination of both,
- were found to have consumed illegal drugs,
- or you refused to provide a breath/fluid sample to a police officer
What does an impaired driving mean for my license immediately?
If it is your first offence, you are subject to an immediate 90-day, no-driving license suspension. After this period has passed, you may apply to drive under a suspended license for a year with the Ignition Interlock Program. If you choose not to participate in the program, you will be suspended for a full year plus the initial 90 days with no ability to drive legally.
Can I get my license back prior to my court date?
The 90-day suspension does not provide exceptions except by successful appeal. Since most court dates are scheduled within the first month after a DUI, you will not be able to get your license back prior to your court date in most circumstances. If you file an appeal – which is possible up to 30 days from the offence date – and the Alberta Transportation Safety Board receives and responds to your appeal, it would be possible to retrieve your license before your first court date, if they accept your appeal; however, given existing processing times, this is very unlikely.
How do I file a DUI appeal in Alberta to get my license back?
In order to appeal your license suspension, you must purchase an Application for Hearing from any Alberta registry. You can choose between an oral or written appeal with the former coming at a higher cost than the latter. As noted above, this must be received within 30 days of the offence date. A successful appeal relies on offering evidence of your innocence in the impaired driving-related offence. The Alberta Transportation Board does not consider discussions of hardship due to suspended licensing when processing appeals.
Fees Associated with Appeals
|Oral Appeal Hearing||$250|
|Written Appeal Hearing||$125|
What is the Ignition Interlock Program and how does it affect my license?
To obtain your license before your trial whether or not an appeal goes through, you can apply to take part in the Ignition Interlock program through any Alberta Registry. The Alberta Transportation Driver Fitness and Monitoring board will receive your application, taking up to 30 days to issue an approval. This program involves the installation of a device on your car to monitor your sobriety while driving for the duration of your year-long suspension. During this time, you are not allowed to drive any other vehicle unless it contains the Ignition Interlock program.
Fees Associated with the Ignition Interlock Program
|Passenger Vehicle Installation||
|Commercial Vehicle Installation||
|New License Fee||
Check with Registry
|Monthly Interlock Device Rental||
|Device Removal Fee||
What happens to my license if I plead guilty or been found guilty?
If it is a first-time offence, there will be a one-year disqualification under the Criminal Code of Canada alongside a provincial license suspension, run concurrently. You can only get your license back by then applying to take part in the Alberta Ignition Interlock Program. You will also be required to take courses with the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) including the AMA Planning Ahead Course and IMPACT Course. There will be a significant gap in time between your conviction and your approval for the program before you receive your license back, with restrictions.
What happens to my license if I am found innocent and win my case?
It is important to note that winning your criminal case does not mean your license is immediately returned to you as AALS continues, despite what happens with Criminal Code charges. In other words, the provincial suspension applies, whether or not you are criminally convicted at trial. The only way to avoid the AALS suspensions (90 days mandatory followed by 1 year) is to file an appeal. It is absolutely essential that you purchase and file the appeal form within the first 30 days of the suspension. This gives you the right to appeal at a later date and you can wait to decide what to do pending your criminal case.
What is the best plan of action for getting my license back?
Hire a criminal defence lawyer right away. At Kolinsky Law, our DUI Lawyers team can assist you with all of the complexities of navigating your DUI criminal case to ensure that you get your license back as soon as possible to limit interruptions to your life and mitigate any damage a DUI could further cause you.