A driver may receive an Immediate Roadside Sanction Fail (“IRS: Fail”) from a peace officer if the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe the individual was operating a vehicle while their ability to do so was impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, or where the driver’s blood or alcohol and/or drug concentration is over the legal limit. A driver can also receive an IRS: Fail if they refuse to comply with a demand from a peace officer to provide a sample of breath for analysis of alcohol, a blood or urine test for analysis of a drug, and/or where the driver refuses to partake in a physical coordination test.

An IRS: Fail results in a Notice of Administrative Penalty (NAP), which results in penalties for the driver that take effect upon issuance of the NAP. The recipient of the NAP has 7 days to file a review of the IRS.

The lawyers at DDSG Criminal Law have significant experience representing individuals who have received a Notice of Administrative Penalty in front of the SafeRoads Alberta Tribunal.

Punishment for Immediate Roadside Sanctions

The punishments for an IRS escalate depending on whether it is the driver’s first, second, third, or more contravention. The punishments outlined below do not apply for commercial drivers.

There are also ancillary consequences for an IRS:

  • If you choose to use an Ignition Interlock after the mandatory 90-day license suspension, there is a cost to installing and maintaining the Ignition Interlock.
  • The cost of removing the Ignition Interlock once the suspension is over.
  • Impound and tow fees for the seized vehicle.
  • Cost of the course required for license reinstatement.
  • The cost of reinstating one’s license.
  • Increase in car insurance premiums.

Frequently Asked Questions About Immediate Roadside Sanctions In Alberta

You must file for a review of your IRS within 7 days (including weekends and statutory holidays) from the issuance of the NAP. There is a $150.00 non-refundable fee for doing so. Next, a date to review your NAP will be set within 21 days of issuance of the NAP. Within 30 days of the issuance of the NAP, a decision will be made as to whether your review was successful or not.

The lawyers at DDSG Criminal Law can file a review, conduct a hearing, and file written submissions on your behalf.

If you missed the 7-day window to apply to review your NAP, you may apply for a late review of your NAP within 12 months of the date the NAP was issued. There is a non-refundable $50 fee to do so. The Director of SafeRoads Alberta may accept your request for a late review if they are satisfied there were exceptional circumstances leading to the late request.

The lawyers at DDSG Criminal Law can file an application for late review on your behalf.

If the review of your NAP is successful, your NAP will be cancelled. This means that your license will no longer be suspended, you will not need Ignition Interlock, and you will not be required to pay a fine. You may be eligible for reimbursement of your tow fees and impound costs.

If the review of your NAP is unsuccessful at the SafeRoads Alberta Tribunal stage, your NAP will be confirmed. This means the penalties outlined above will be imposed on you. You may, however, ask for a judicial review of the Tribunal’s decision. You must do so within 30 days of the decision date. Judicial reviews occur in the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta. These are complex applications that often require the expertise of a lawyer experienced in such applications.

No. NAPs are administrative in nature, and therefore do not have any criminal consequences. Some individuals, depending on factors such as the presence of property damage, children in the vehicle, or bodily harm, are charged criminally in addition to receiving a NAP. If you are unsure if you have been charged criminally, it is best to speak to a lawyer.

Despite a lack of criminal record after receiving a NAP, a driver will have the suspension listed on their driver’s abstract. Having a suspension on an individual’s driver’s abstract can make it difficult for them to obtain work or continue employment in a field that requires a vehicle.

The lawyers at DDSG Criminal Law are also experienced in defending drivers charged criminally with impaired driving offences and can assist where individuals have both a NAP and criminal charges.

Several of DDSG’s criminal lawyers have extensive experience appearing in front of the SafeRoads Alberta Tribunal on behalf of individuals who have received a NAP. Contact DDSG Criminal Law today to figure out the best path forward for your circumstances.

Lawyers with a practice interest in DUI and Impaired Driving

Lauren Garcia

Lauren L. Garcia

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Graham Johnson

Graham Johnson

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Kathryn Quinlan

Kathryn A. Quinlan

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Alexandra Seaman

Alexandra K. Seaman

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Lance McClean

Lance McClean

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Dushan Coulson

Dushan Coulson

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Jordan McDermott

Jordan McDermott

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Sarah Kondor

Sarah Kondor

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