Impaired driving is a significant concern in many countries, leading to many regulations and mechanisms to curb this dangerous behaviour. One such mechanism is the Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS).
As of December 2020, Alberta has implemented a new approach to address impaired driving. Instead of primarily issuing criminal charges for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, authorities will typically issue Administrative Penalties under the Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) program.
This article delves into the concept of the IRS, its implications, and how seeking legal assistance from a DUI lawyer in Calgary can be invaluable if faced with such a sanction.
What is an Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS)?
An Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) is invoked when a driver is caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Upon failing an alcohol or drug test, the driver’s license is instantly seized and suspended.
First-time offenders face a minimum suspension of 90 days, but repeat violations can lead to longer suspensions. Additionally, drivers must install an Ignition Interlock device in their vehicle for at least 12 months before regaining their license. The IRS program, governed by section 88.1 of the Traffic Safety Act, is a provincial administrative penalty. Still, police can add criminal charges on top of IRS penalties.
NOTE: If you receive an IRS, you have only SEVEN DAYS to appeal. It’s crucial to consult a lawyer immediately.
Different Types of (IRS) Suspensions
The Traffic Safety Act contains intricate and often challenging wording. However, distilled down, the Act details five distinct sanctions:
- IRS:24-Hour – A temporary suspension is usually given when authorities believe a driver’s ability is impaired, even below the legal limit.
- IRS: Novice – Aimed at new drivers, these sanctions are stricter, reflecting the zero-tolerance policy for those with a beginner’s license.
- IRS: Commercial – Targeted commercial vehicle drivers, emphasizing the higher responsibility due to the nature of their vehicles and cargo.
- IRS: Warn – Issued when a driver’s alcohol or drug level is borderline. It’s a cautionary sanction.
- IRS: Fail – Given when a driver clearly surpasses the legal limit for drugs or alcohol, leading to a more severe penalty.
Each of these sanctions has its own set of consequences and implications, so understanding them is essential for drivers.
Penalties for an Immediate Roadside Sanction in Alberta
Typical components of an IRS include:
- Immediate Vehicle Impoundment: Law enforcement has the authority to immediately tow and impound the vehicle of a suspected impaired driver for a specific period.
- Driving Prohibition: The sanctioned driver might be temporarily barred from driving.
- Monetary Fines: On-the-spot fines can be imposed.
- Mandatory Education or Treatment Referral: Drivers might be required to participate in programs addressing alcohol or drug misuse.
- Ignition Interlock Device Installation: This device, when installed, prevents a vehicle from starting without a breath sample devoid of alcohol from the driver.
How a DUI Lawyer in Calgary Can Help Me Review My IRS?
The Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) is designed to address impaired driving promptly. However, like all legal mechanisms, understanding your rights and the procedures surrounding them is essential.
At Batting, Wyman Barristers, our experienced DUI lawyers can provide expert guidance on your Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) nuances. We’ll assess the evidence, ensure your rights are upheld, and guide you through potential appeal processes, maximizing your chances for a favourable outcome.
Given the limited appeal window, it’s crucial to consult a DUI lawyer promptly. Book your free 30-minute consultation, or give us a call at 403.263.4949.
Blog posts from Batting, Wyman Barristers are for general information only. The content should not be considered legal advice. If you are in need of professional legal advice, please Book a free 30-minute consultation.