The SafeRoads review process starts and finishes within approximately 30 days of the initial licence suspension of a driver (“the Recipient”), but a lot can happen in those 30 days. The 30 days can be broken down into three separate pieces:

  1. The first 7 days
  2. The 14 days after that
  3. The remaining days

The lawyers and articling students at DDSG Criminal Law have a wealth of experience at all stages of the Review process. It is important to get in touch with the lawyers at DDSG Criminal Law as soon as possible for advice. A Recipient only has those first 7 days to ensure their right to review the Notice of Administrative Penalty issued to them.

The First 7 Days

In the first 7 days, a Recipient’s focus should be on hiring someone to assist them with their review. During the 7 days, a request for review must be submitted (if it has not been done by the 7-day deadline, a request for late review, which has requirements that can be difficult to meet, would be required). This is done on the SafeRoads website. To access the case on the SafeRoads website, the following information must be at hand:

  1. Contravention Number (located on the Notice of Administrative Penalty and begins with either an “A” or a “C” and ends with an “O”).
  2. The Recipient’s birthdate
  3. The occurrence time
  4. The Recipient’s last name

Once on the SafeRoads website, scheduling a review requires payment of a $150.00 fee. Reviews can proceed by way of a written review or an oral review. In a written review, the Recipient’s arguments about the case are made only by written submissions to the Adjudicator (the person who decides the case). In an oral review, there will be a
video meeting with the Adjudicator where the Recipient or their representative provides verbal submissions (and, if the Recipient chooses, written submissions can be provided ahead of time as well, to assist the verbal submissions that will follow).

The Next 14 Days

The next 14 days (up to 21 days after the Notice of Administrative Penalty was issued) requires three main activities. The goal in all three activities is to convince the Adjudicator to “cancel” the Notice of Administrative Penalty. A cancellation means that the Recipient can have their license back, and none of the penalties imposed by the Notice of Administrative Penalty apply any longer. The three activities undertaken by the Recipient and/or their representative are as follows:

  1. Reviewing the evidence provided by the policing service that issued the Notice of
    Administrative Penalty
  2. Gathering evidence to support the Recipient’s argument on review
  3. Conducting the Review

The first step is where having a representative to assist the Recipient becomes very handy. There are many areas that can be challenged in a SafeRoads review, and it takes a keen eye to identify them.

The second step is not a necessary part of the process, but, depending on the investigation, gathering evidence may be important. This may include providing audio or video recordings if any were made at the time of the incident, swearing a declaration (a type of sworn or affirmed statement) to the Recipient’s version of events, and any other
item that may assist the Recipient’s argument.

It is important to remember that any materials provided by the Recipient must be filed 2 clear days prior to the hearing date. The third step is where the first two steps come to fruition: the Review itself. As stated, the Review can take the form of an oral hearing (possibly combined with written submissions) or a written hearing (by written submissions only).

As a part of the hearing, the SafeRoads Alberta Tribunal randomly assigns an Adjudicator to decide the matter. That Adjudicator considers the materials provided from both the Recipient and the police service that issued the Notice of Administrative Penalty.

The Adjudicator will also consider arguments made by the Recipient, or their representative, in support of cancelling the Notice of Administrative Penalty.

The Remaining Days

In the remaining days until the approximate 30-day deadline, the Adjudicator considers the evidence before them and renders a decision. That decision will either be to cancel the Notice of Administrative Penalty or confirm the Notice of Administrative Penalty. If the Adjudicator cancels the Notice of Administrative Penalty, the penalties will no longer apply. If the Notice of Administrative Penalty is confirmed, the penalties that applied to the Recipient at the time of the issuance of the Notice of Administrative Penalty will continue to apply (subject to some rare cases where, if the person was incorrectly penalized for a second or third contravention, the Adjudicator may reduce the penalty to what it should be for a first or second contravention).

While reviewing a Notice of Administrative Penalty may appear to be a quick process, it is important to have someone in your corner that is aware of all the technical issues that may arise on a SafeRoads Review. At DDSG Criminal Law, the lawyers and articling students are well-versed in these issues and are happy to assist individuals who have questions or are interested in conducting a Review of their Notice of Administrative Penalty.