In Alberta, an individual’s blood alcohol concentration is the determining factor of whether fully licensed drivers will be faced with a DUI versus an IRS. If your blood alcohol concentration is shown to be within 0.05 and 0.079, the IRS will apply. IRS is the Immediate Roadside Sanctions Program. This means you will receive a Notice of Administrative Penalty under section 88.03 of the Traffic Safety Act by IRS: WARN Program. If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or higher, you may be charged with a DUI. This is a federal offence.
The consequences of an IRS and DUI are significantly different. For an IRS, the individual is not criminally charged. Instead, there are three levels of sanctions which increase in severity if there are repeat occurrences. While the first occurrence may result in an immediate seizure of your driver’s license and vehicle for three days, the third occurrence requires a thirty-day driver’s license suspension, vehicle seizure for seven days and a mandatory enrollment in the IMPACT program. A DUI charge is greater in severity and includes the potential for a criminal record charge. The other consequences may include paying a reinstatement fee, a Federal Driving Prohibition, remedial education course, completion of a road test, and the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program.