What is Ignition Interlock?
If you have been charged or convicted of an impaired driving-related offence (impaired driving, driving over 0.08/DUI or refusing to provide a sample of breath), you will automatically lose your licence. Once you have been charged, you will be given an automatic 90-day suspension during which you cannot operate a motor vehicle. If you have been convicted of a driving-related offence, you will face a minimum 12-month driving prohibition.
Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program is designed by the Alberta Provincial Government as a tool to separate individuals from high-risk behaviour driving, an educational tool and a deterrent to prevent-re-offending.
The Ignition Interlock Program is a fee-based program that requires the installation of an ignition interlock device, more commonly known as a “blow box”. The device measures your blood alcohol concentration and locks the ignition if it detects a certain quantity of alcohol.
Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program
If you are charged with an impaired driving related offence, you will immediately face a 90-day driving suspension in which you cannot operate a motor vehicle. The suspension begins the moment you are charged with the offence and can only be reduced if you successfully appeal the suspension to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board.
If you receive a provincial impaired driving-related suspension through the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Program you will receive:
- An immediate 90-day driving suspension; and
- A 1-year suspension in which you are permitted to operate a motor vehicle if you participate in the Ignition Interlock Program.
If you choose not to enter into the Ignition Interlock Program, you will remain suspended for a total of 15 months (90 days plus the one-year suspension). However, if you want to continue driving at the conclusion of the 90-day period, you may be able to participate in the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program.
In order to apply for the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program, you must be an Alberta resident. Your first opportunity to apply is when you have 30 days or less remaining in your minimum driving suspension terms indicated on the Notice of Suspension. If this is your first time charged with an impaired-related offence, your suspension will be 90-days. It is important to have your lawyer review your Notice of Suspension as soon as possible to determine if the police officer made any errors. If these errors aren’t discovered until you apply, there may be a significant delay in having the device installed.
Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program
If you are convicted of an impaired driving related offence, you will be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for 12 months. In order to be reinstated, you will be mandated by the Provincial Government to enter into the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program.
Once convicted, you are able to enter the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program once you have properly filed the paperwork and completed the remedial education course.
In order to participate in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program, you must be a resident of Alberta and not currently serving another driving suspension other than the Alberta Administrative Licence suspension.
If you are a first time offender, you must complete the Planning Ahead course. This is a one-day course with the goral of preventing impaired driving. It is an 8-hour course and costs $315.
If you are a repeat offender, you must complete the IMPACT program. This is a weekend-long program and costs $925.
You are responsible for all costs associated with the Ignition Interlock Program. Costs are subject to change”
- $145 plus GST for installation (normal sized vehicle)
- $95 plus GST per month for the rental of the ignition interlock device
- $63 for the Application
- $50 plus GST for the removal of the ignition interlock device
- $315 for the Planning ahead course or $925 for the Impact course
- Fees for the restricted driver’s licence and road test, when applicable
How to Apply
- Determine if you are eligible by reviewing the information in the Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender received in court.
- Complete the application by visiting any Alberta registry agent to purchase and complete the paperwork.
- Submit the application form in-person, by mail, email or fax.
- You will be notified by mail whether you have been accepted in the program.
- Get the ignition interlock device installed by contacting Smart Start Canada.
- Get a restricted driver’s licence at any Alberta registry agent.
About Cory Wilson
Cory has represented individuals from all walks of life including lawyers, police officers, athletes, corporate executives, teachers, and everything in between. Cory believes in access to justice for every person charged with a criminal offence regardless of their economic background.