Impaired Driving Lawyer

Immediate Roadside Sanction (“IRS”)

Impaired Driving
Immediate Roadside Sanction (“IRS”)

If you have recently been charged with impaired driving in Alberta, you may not have been charged criminally but instead under the IRS framework. This means:

  • That you could immediately be suspended from driving for 15 months or longer.
  • You may have to pay a significant fine.
  • That you only have 7 days to appeal the suspension.
  • That your insurance rates could rise drastically.
  • You can talk to an impaired driving lawyer immediately at 403-815-2388 for immediate advice on what your options are. 
  • The clock is ticking

What is an Immediate Roadside Sanction (“IRS”)?

In December 2020, the Alberta government introduced a new legislative scheme for impaired drivers. Today, most impaired driving offences in Alberta are dealt with through section 88.11 of the Traffic Safety Act rather than the criminal courts.

Is an IRS a criminal charge?

The short answer is no. An IRS is the administrative license suspension program in Alberta. However, the penalties resulting from an IRS may feel like a criminal sanction.

You can also be charged criminally with an IRS depending on your readings, whether there were children in the vehicle, and any related criminal charges in your past.

What happens if I don’t fight my IRS?

Once the IRS is issued to you, your driver’s license suspension begins immediately. You will lose your license for 90 days; you will not be able to drive under any circumstances, your vehicle will be impounded, and you will be issued a substantial fine. Following the suspension of your license, you will be suspended for another 12 months or be forced to participate in the costly driving interlock program for 12 months. On top of all of this, your insurance rates will dramatically increase.

How do I fight an IRS?

It is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible once you have received the IRS. You only have 7 days to appeal your IRS and the clock starts ticking as soon as the IRS is issued to you. We can schedule your review for you. The review can be done in writing or orally.

Once your review is set, the government will submit the evidence that they have gathered against you. This typically includes officer notes, information pertaining to the Approved Screening Device (“ASD”), and any witness statements from the incident. In order to fight this

It is not like a criminal trial – there is no cross-examination. The officer’s notes are considered to have been taken under oath. The onus is on you to prove your innocence. There are a number of angles that you can attack your IRS, such as proving that the police did not have reasonable grounds to breathalyze you, did not provide you with the required documentation or did not provide you with an opportunity to conduct a roadside appeal. A defence lawyer can assist you with reviewing the disclosure and crafting arguments to beat your IRS.

Sean Fagan has successfully defended charges of impaired driving (by drug and/or alcohol), driving over .08 and refusing to blow.

If you are charged, or think you will be charged, with impaired driving call

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If you are charged with a criminal offence call Sean Fagan at (403) 815 - 8099

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