IGNITION INTERLOCK PROGRAM

As of April 9, 2018, the Ignition Interlock Program will evolve into two different but related programs:

Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension, Ignition Interlock Program – This program is initiated by the province as a result of being served with an Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension for being suspected of criminal-level impaired driving.

Impaired drivers will serve a 90-day driving suspension where the suspended driver is unable to drive under any circumstances, followed by a further 1 year driving suspension where the suspended driver may be eligible to drive on the condition that they participate in Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program. If they choose not to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program, they will remain suspended during this 1 year term with no ability to drive legally.

Mandatory – The Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program is initiated as a result of a Criminal Code (Canada) conviction of an impaired driving offence in Alberta, where the courts have indicated that the driver must comply with the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program as part of their Reinstatement Conditions. Drivers must demonstrate a sustained ability to separate drinking and driving behaviors by completing the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program, in order to have their licence reinstated.

What is the Ignition Interlock Program?

The Ignition Interlock Program involves the installation of an ignition interlock device in a vehicle as a condition of driver licensing. The device measures the blood alcohol concentration levels of the driver and will “lock” the ignition if a blood alcohol concentration reading is above the specified threshold level.

Monitoring through Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program is designed to help individuals separate impairment or high-risk behaviour from driving. The Ignition Interlock Program is used as a deterrent to prevent recidivism, and prevent high-risk drivers from operating a motor vehicle while impaired.

If an individual has had their driving privileges suspended through an impaired driving-related criminal conviction or through the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Program, the Ignition Interlock Program may allow the individual to obtain conditional driving privileges.

Steps involved in applying and participating in either Ignition Interlock Program:

You must purchase an Ignition Interlock Program Application through an authorized Alberta Registry Agent.

You must apply to Driver Fitness and Monitoring to participate in Alberta’s Ignition Interlock Program.

Driver Fitness and Monitoring must approve the Ignition Interlock Program Application/ participation.

You must be a resident of Alberta to be eligible for an Alberta Restricted Driver’s Licence.

You may apply to either Ignition Interlock Program (Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program or the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program) when they have 30 days or less remaining in their minimum prohibition/suspension term as indicated on the “Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender” received in Court (as part of the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program) or on the Notice of Suspension (as part of the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program).

You must not be currently serving any suspension(s) other than this impaired driving suspension otherwise the Ignition Interlock Program Application will be denied.

Once Driver Fitness and Monitoring receives and approves your application for either Ignition Interlock Program (the application can take up to 30-days to process), you will receive the signed /approved application back in the mail. With this, you can contact the Service Provider to install the ignition interlock device. Once the approved application is signed by the installer showing the installation as complete, you can present this to the Alberta Registry Agent to have your Restricted Driver’s Licence issued.

The ignition interlock device must be used by anyone who operates the motor vehicle. Training is provided by the Service Provider.

If the ignition interlock device detects a pre-set level of blood alcohol concentration, the driver will not be able to start or drive the motor vehicle.

The ignition interlock device keeps an ongoing record of the driver's blood alcohol concentration level during the operation of the motor vehicle through random re-tests throughout the duration of the trip.

You must bring the motor vehicle to the installer for an inspection 30 days after the initial installation, followed by additional inspections at least once every 60 days. The installer will inspect the equipment and transfer the recorded information to Driver Fitness and Monitoring for review.

Failure to obtain and/or maintain the Restricted Driver's Licence may result in: 

  • Expulsion from the Ignition Interlock Program.
  • A ‘Driving while Disqualified’ charge by law enforcement.

Any Ignition Interlock Program participant:

  1. who attempts to tamper, cheat, or bypass the ignition interlock device,
  2. has their driver’s licence suspended or cancelled,
  3. who is subject to any additional Traffic Safety Act suspension or convicted of any additional driving-related Criminal Code (Canada),

may be immediately removed from the Ignition Interlock Program, have their Restricted Driver's Licence revoked, and Ignition Interlock Program participation terminated until all Reinstatement Conditions have been completed.

In addition to the information above, the following is applicable to the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program:

  • If you wish to participate in the Alberta Administrative Licence Ignition Interlock Program during the 2nd phase of the driving suspension (the one year term following the initial 90-day licence suspension), you are required to purchase and submit an Ignition Interlock Program Application to Driver Fitness and Monitoring.
  • You may apply to the Ignition Interlock Program when you have 30 days or less remaining in your 90 day suspension term.
  • If you are still participating in the Alberta Administrative Licence Ignition Interlock Program when Driver Fitness and Monitoring receives the court-imposed penalties of the Criminal Code (Canada) conviction, they will process your revocation from the Alberta Administrative Licence Ignition Interlock Program. As part of this process, Driver Fitness and Monitoring will mail a letter to advise that you have been revoked from the Alberta Administrative Licence Ignition Interlock Program to serve out the federal driving prohibition.
  • Once you have served the federal driving prohibition, you may participate in the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension and Mandatory Ignition Interlock Programs concurrently; however, the Mandatory Program Terms and Conditions will apply. 

In addition to the information above, the following is applicable to the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program:

  • You are required to purchase and submit an Ignition Interlock Program Application to Driver Fitness and Monitoring. A legible copy of the “Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender” must accompany the Ignition Interlock Program Application. A replacement copy of the “Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender” can be obtained by the client through the Provincial Court of Alberta by visiting their website at: www.albertacourts.ca.
  • You may apply to the Ignition Interlock Program when you have 30 days or less remaining in the minimum prohibition/suspension term as indicated on the “Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender” received in Court.
  • If you were criminally convicted, you must participate in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program for the length of time indicated in the Notice of Suspension. The term during which you must not operate a motor vehicle without the ignition interlock device will start from the date of installation.
  • If you are still participating in the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program when Driver Fitness and Monitoring receives your Criminal Code (Canada) conviction, they will process the revocation from the Alberta Administrative Licence Ignition Interlock Program. As part of this process, Driver Fitness and Monitoring will mail a letter to advise that you have been revoked from the Alberta Administrative Licence Ignition Interlock Program to serve out the federal driving prohibition.
  • If you are participating in the Alberta Administrative Licence Ignition Interlock Program, and are also criminally convicted, you have the option to:
    • remove the ignition interlock device to serve the federal driving prohibition, and reinstall once you are ready to fulfill the reinstatement requirement of the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program, OR
    • keep and maintain the ignition interlock device in your motor vehicle during the term of the federal driving prohibition (even though you do not have the ability to drive legally), provided you satisfy the monthly lease costs with the Service Provider.
  • If and when you choose to fulfill the required term in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program, you are required to purchase and submit another Ignition Interlock Program Application to Driver Fitness and Monitoring (even if they have previously participated in the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program) with a legible copy of your ‘Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender’ from the Courts (once you have 30-days or less remaining in the federal driving prohibition).
  • At the installation/re-installation appointment, you must present the signed/approved application to the Service Provider who will also sign the application to validate the installation process. Once the approved application is signed by the installer showing the installation as complete, you should present the document to the Alberta Registry Agent to schedule the Road Test and/or have the new Restricted Driver’s Licence issued.
  • Failure to obtain and/or maintain the Restricted Driver's Licence may also result in not receiving credit towards your term of Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program participation.
  • You will be responsible for all warns and/or fails recorded by the ignition interlock device, even if you were not operating the motor vehicle at that time. (A ‘Warn’ is a reading of 0.020 blood alcohol concentration or higher; a ‘Fail’ is a reading of 0.040 blood alcohol concentration or higher.)
  • If the ignition interlock device records that impaired driving has been attempted, Driver Fitness and Monitoring will be advised and action may be taken by the Registrar. The Registrar expects ZERO warns & fails. All WARN and FAILS must be successfully cleared within 10 minutes or the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program length may be extended.
  • The reinstatement of unrestricted driving privileges at the end of the suspension period depends on your performance in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program. 
  •  All Ignition Interlock Program activity is recorded and monitored. Attempting to drive after drinking may result in Driver Fitness and Monitoring extending the time in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program and/or requiring an interview with the Ignition Interlock Program Review Committee.

What are required reinstatement conditions?

Required reinstatement conditions are conditions that must be met prior to being issued your Restricted Driver’s Licence. These conditions will be outlined in the Notice of Suspension you received, via registered mail, at the beginning of your driving suspension. The following conditions are commonly associated with impaired driving convictions.

  • Pay an Alcohol-Related Reinstatement Fee of $209.45. This fee can be paid at any Alberta Registry Agent.
    • Complete a Road Test if your driving privileges have been suspended for more than 1 year.
  • Completion of the “Planning Ahead” Educational Course for participants convicted of their first impaired driving offence within a 10 year period.
  • Completion of the “IMPACT” Educational Program for participants convicted of their second or subsequent impaired driving offence within a 10 year period.

How to apply for the Ignition Interlock Program

Things to keep in mind for the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program:

The Court must authorize you to operate a motor vehicle with an ignition interlock device during your prohibition period. If the Court does not, Driver Fitness and Monitoring will use the minimum terms quoted in the Criminal Code (Canada). You must serve the minimum prohibition term indicated in the “Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender”, which must also be submitted with your Ignition Interlock Program Application.

To apply for Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program or Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program:

Step 1: Review the information in your “Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender” received in Court or on the provincial Notice of Suspension, and determine whether you are eligible to apply and ready to participate, prior to paying the Ignition Interlock Program Application fee. Please note the Ignition Interlock Program Application fee is non-refundable.

Step 2: For Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program Only - You must complete all reinstatement conditions other than the Road Test and payment of the reinstatement fee, prior to having your Ignition Interlock Program Application approved.

  • If you are a first-time offender, you must complete the “Planning Ahead” Course. You may submit your Ignition Interlock Program Application for approval prior to completing your “Planning Ahead” Course. You will, however, need to complete the “Planning Ahead” Course prior to the installation of your ignition interlock device.
  • If you are a repeat or subsequent offender, you must complete the “IMPACT” Program. This must be completed prior to submitting your Ignition Interlock Program Application. If not, your Ignition Interlock Program Application will be returned to you unprocessed until the “IMPACT” Program is completed.

Do not submit the proof of course completion certificates for these programs with your Application. You will need this documentation to provide to the installer when the interlock device is installed. You may obtain more information and enroll yourself in either program by contacting the Alberta Motor Association at 780-430-8811, toll-free in Alberta by dialing 1-800-272-5698.

Step 3: You must purchase an Ignition Interlock Program Application form from any Alberta Registry Agent and complete your portion of the Ignition Interlock Program Application. The Ignition Interlock Program Application must be signed and dated or it will be returned for completion before it can be processed.

Step 4: You are required to complete and submit the Ignition Interlock Program Application form, (along with the “Order of Driving Prohibition Against an Offender” for the Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program), either in-person or by mail, email, or fax to:

Mail:    

Alberta Transportation
Driver Fitness and Monitoring
Main Floor, Twin Atria Building
Room 109, 4999 98 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X3

Email:  trans.idau@gov.ab.ca            Fax: 1-855-643-9418
Phone: 780-427-8230 (Toll-Free in Alberta by first dialing 310-0000).

Office hours are 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

How will I know if I am approved for the Ignition Interlock Program?

  • Driver Fitness and Monitoring will notify you by mail, unless otherwise indicated, about your acceptance or rejection from the Ignition Interlock Program.
  • If you are accepted, you will be supplied detailed instructions on the required steps to have the equipment installed in your vehicle, how to operate it, and information on completing the Road Test, if required, in order to obtain a Restricted Driver’s Licence.
  • Your Ignition Interlock Program term will begin once you have installed the Ignition Interlock Device and obtained a Restricted Driver’s Licence. You must be issued and maintain a Restricted Driver’s Licence for your entire Ignition Interlock Program term, otherwise the Registrar may extend your term or revoke your Ignition Interlock Program participation.
  • Driver Fitness and Monitoring may take up to 30 days to process your Ignition Interlock Program Application.
  • Driver Fitness and Monitoring may deny any Ignition Interlock Program Application in the interest of public safety.

How much does the Ignition Interlock Program cost?

Smart Start Canada Program component Cost* (not including GST)
Installation of the ignition interlock device$145
Rental fee for the device per month$95
Removal of the device$50
Application fee (not including Registry Agent Fee)$63
"Planning Ahead" Education Course$315
"IMPACT" Educational program$925

**Above costs do not include GST. All costs are subject to change.

Further information regarding the Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Ignition Interlock Program and Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program can be found at the following link: www.transportation.alberta.ca/impaireddriving.htm