Frequently Asked Questions On Bill 26

Answers from the lawyers who defend impaired driving cases daily in Edmonton drinking and driving law varies somewhat by province. With the introduction of Bill 26 in Alberta, it is a good to know your rights, responsibilities and limits under law.

How many drinks can I have in Alberta?

It’s a question that may be on many minds in Alberta, since the passing of Bill 26: how much can you reasonably consume if you are going out for dinner or a social drink after work?

Every individual metabolizes alcohol at a different rate. But as an example, based on body mass, a 180 lb person should be able to consume two drinks (defined as a single can of beer, a glass of wine or one standard shot) over the course of an hour without going over .05 (or 50 mg%) blood alcohol content. The body processes alcohol at a rate of approximately 15 mg% every hour, so if you were then to drink one drink per hour after that, you would likely be safe. By comparison, a 120 lb person would need to have less than one drink per hour in both first and subsequent hours.

A good rule of thumb is to stop after one or two drinks and wait between 30 minutes to an hour before driving. However, please be aware that these are simply guidelines. You should not rely on this website for advice on when you can safely drive after drinking. The safest course of action is to simply not drink at all if you plan on driving later.

How much are impound and towing fees?

Towing a standard vehicle to an impound lot costs approximately $116 per tow, plus $2 per additional kilometre past 10 km. Prices may vary depending on location, size of vehicle etc. The price goes up for larger vehicles – up to $153 per tow – and for longer distance tows. Storage fees generally accrue at a rate of $28 per day plus GST. For a complete list of prices for towing and impounding in Edmonton, visit




What is mouth alcohol?

Also known as “mouth alcohol bias,” mouth alcohol is when a higher ethanol concentration in the mouth results from burping, GERD, regurgitation, vomiting, having recently finished a drink or using mouthwash. This can cause an inaccurate reading on a breath-testing instrument such as a Breathalyzer, Intoxilyzer, Datamaster or Intoximeter. Breathalyzer machines will usually detect this inaccuracy and register the result as an “invalid sample.” The method used to detect mouth alcohol, however, is not infallible and is subject to error.

What is an ignition interlock and why is it used?

An ignition interlock device, also known as a “blow box”, is like a personal breathalyzer machine connected to your vehicle’s ignition system. In order to start a vehicle with ignition interlock, you need to first test your blood alcohol content and ensure it is within required limits, or your vehicle won’t start. It is used as a way to allow conditional driving privileges to persons who have been charged with impaired driving.

How is the mandatory ignition interlock program currently applied in Alberta?

Drivers who are convicted of impaired driving over .08 blood alcohol content and whose blood alcohol content.was twice or more over the legal limit must participate in the mandatory ignition interlock program for a minimum of 6 months or longer. The same situation applies to those charged with refusing to provide breath samples. More questions? Need legal advice resulting from a drunk driving charge? Consult a DUI lawyer today.

Our drunk driving lawyers all know that staying knowledgeable in the law is key to a strong defence. Gunn Law Group handles criminal defense of impaired or drunk driving charges in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, Beaumont, Bon Accord, Bruderheim, Calmar, Devon, Gibbons, Legal, Morinville, Redwater, Stony Plain And Strathcona County, Leduc County, Parkland County And Sturgeon County, Peace River, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and other communities in northern Alberta. We will go anywhere in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest territories, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Call our offices at 1-780-666-7561 and start taking control today.