Impaired Driving – Calgary Police Service July Priority

Impaired driving is a tricky subject and can encompass many aspects not just impairment by drug or alcohol. Impairment can include sleep, fatigue, medical, or distraction.

Impairment starts at just having one alcoholic drink as it affects perception, reaction, judgement, and narrows vision. However, for impairment the Province and Federal laws must attach a number for charging. Studies have shown that a person’s diving is impaired at 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

Impairment is different from drunk, being drunk is the gross extreme of impairment. Signs of impairment can include glassy blood shot eyes, smell of liquor from breath, exaggerated motor skills, and slurred speech.

In Alberta, we have the Mandatory Alcohol Screening or MAS. This program allows Police, on a lawful traffic stop, to demand the driver submit to a roadside breath test without suspicion or admittance of alcohol consumption. It is illegal to refuse the test.

There is different license suspension, vehicle seizure times, and fines dependent on previous Immediate Roadside Sanctions, IRS WARN Program. The program was developed for several reasons and is not used in place of Criminal charges where injury or loss of life occurs.

With the legalization of cannabis signs of impairment can still be present and different physical testing is done for drugs.