Immediate Roadside Suspension (IRS) Program

Under the Traffic Safety Act, where a peace officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a driver has a blood alcohol concentration in excess of 50 mg% and the driver provides a breath sample, that driver will receive an Immediate Roadside Suspension or Disqualification. In addition to the operator’s licence suspension or disqualification, the driver’s vehicle will also be subject to immediate seizure. Please see the IRS fact sheet for information about this program.

Grounds for Appeal of an Immediate Roadside Licence Suspension/ Disqualification under section 39 of the Traffic Safety Act:

  1. The driver did not drive the vehicle; or
  2. The driver had not consumed alcohol in a quantity to make their blood alcohol concentration 50 mg% or greater within three hours of driving.

    Note: The following grounds will NOT be considered for the IRS Licence Suspension/Disqualification

    • Arguments based on hardship;
    • Failure to receive or accept a Notice of Suspension/Disqualification;
    • Failure or refusal to surrender an operator’s licence; or
    • Any other ground not enumerated in the Traffic Safety Act or regulations under the Act.

     

Grounds for Appeal of an Immediate Roadside Vehicle Seizure under section 40 of the Traffic Safety Act:

  1. If the person driving the vehicle has not been served with a notice of suspension/disqualification under section 88 of the Traffic Safety Act;
  2. If the owner was not driving a vehicle when it was seized and could not have known the vehicle was being operated in a manner that would result in the driver being disqualified under IRS;
  3. If the owner was not driving the vehicle when it was seized, and the vehicle was being driven without the owner’s express or implied consent; or
  4. If the seizure is for 7 days and it is not the second or subsequent IRS suspension in a 10-year period.

    Note: The following grounds will NOT be considered for the IRS Vehicle Seizure

     

Appealing a Notice of Immediate Roadside Licence Suspension/ Disqualification or Immediate Roadside Vehicle Seizure - Immediate Roadside Suspension Program

Important things to note if you are appealing the suspension or seizure:

  1. YOU MAY ONLY APPEAL AN IMMEDIATE ROADSIDE LICENCE (IRS) SUSPENSION/ DISQUALIFICATION IF IT IS YOUR SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT IRS SUSPENSION/ DISQUALIFICATION IN A 10-YEAR PERIOD. IF IT IS YOUR FIRST IRS SUSPENSION/ DISQUALIFICATION IN A 10-YEAR PERIOD, YOU MAY NOT APPEAL.
  2. Appealing an IRS licence suspension/disqualification is a separate process from appealing an IRS related vehicle seizure and requires purchasing a separate application form for each appeal.
  3. You must purchase an Application for Hearing at any Alberta Registry Agent office. There are two types of Appeal Applications: - non-oral which requires a written submission ($125), or an oral, which requires a personal appearance before the Board ($250). In addition to the application fee, a Registry Agent fee will be charged.
  4. The application fee for an appeal of an Immediate Roadside Licence Suspension/Disqualification will be refunded only if the appeal is successful. However, the Registry Agent fee is not refundable, regardless of the Board’s decision.
  5. Pursuant to section 45 of the Traffic Safety Act, an Application for Hearing must be filed with the Board within 30 days of the suspension being issued.
    IF THE SUSPENSION/DISQUALIFICATION OR SEIZURE PERIOD HAS EXPIRED, THE BOARD DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE RELIEF.
  6. The original Application form must be sent to the Board. A fax will not be accepted.
  7. You must fill out the “Required Information” section and provide the following documents:
    IRS – Licence Suspension
    • A copy of the Notice of suspension/ disqualification, and
    • Any relevant information or sworn/affirmed statements.
    IRS – Licence Suspension
    • A copy of the Vehicle Seizure Notice,
    • Any form provided by the police service who seized the vehicle,
    • If the applicant is not the registered owner, written authorization from the registered owner for the applicant to appeal the seizure and receive the vehicle, and
    • Any relevant information or sworn/affirmed statements.
  8. Hardship will not be considered as a reason to cancel the suspension or seizure. See the IRS fact sheet (pdf) for other factors that the Board will refuse to consider as a reason in favour of the appeal.
  9. Applying for a hearing does not affect your licence suspension or vehicle seizure. It remains in effect while the appeal process is taking place.
  10. The Board will endeavour to hear a non-oral written appeal of an Immediate Roadside Vehicle Seizure within 3 business days and an oral in-person Immediate Roadside Vehicle Seizure appeal within 7 business days of receiving the application.
  11. The Board will endeavour to send (fax, e-mail or mail) the Immediate Roadside Vehicle Seizure appeal decision with 10 business days of the hearing.

 

 

For more information contact: (Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. - 12 noon; 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Alberta Transportation Safety Board
Main Floor, Twin Atria Building
4999 - 98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X3

 

Phone (780) 427-7178
Fax: (780) 422-9739
                           Alberta Transportation Safety Board
Suit 302 Willow Park Centre
10325 Bonaventure Drive SE
Calgary, Alberta T2J 7E4

 

Phone: (403)297-3466
Fax: (403) 297-4139
Toll Free in Alberta by first dialing 310-0000