Alberta cracks down on drunk driving

Alberta’s new, tougher impaired-driving penalties come into effect on September 1, the Calgary Herald reports.

The laws will introduce stricter  penalties for drivers with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 and above, although the criminal level will remain at 0.08. First time offenders who blow more than 0.05 will have their vehicle seized for three days and their licence suspended for one week. The penalties become stiffer with each repeat offence.

On July 1, Alberta also introduced harsher vehicle seizure and license suspesion penalities for those who blow over 0.08. Those motorists lose the ability to drive until their charges are dealt with.

Critics of the new penalties maintain the government is penalizing social drinkers, as opposed to those who blow well over the legal limit and put others’ lives in danger. The Redford government, however, insists the rules will not effect “regular people.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.