500,000 motorists in Alberta currently have a Graduated Driver’s Licence (G.D.L.) and more than half of those drivers are eligible to upgrade to a full licence but choose not to.

“I think if they really want people to get that licence then they should make it more affordable,” said Rachel McConachey. “It should be clear what the expectation is when you step into a vehicle to take that exam.”

Rachel McConachey has had her G.D.L. for more than a decade. She decided against challenging her advanced road test citing the cost of the exam.

The advanced road test and the price of a new licence would cost Rachel between $150 and $200, assuming she passes the test on her first attempt.

In Alberta, 40 per cent of drivers fail their advanced road test and have to pay to take it again. Many Albertans refuse to retake the test and continue driving with their G.D.L.

Graduated Driver’s Licences do carry restrictions including a ban on consuming alcohol before driving. Drivers with a GDL are not permitted to have any alcohol in their system when operating a vehicle.

“Any indication of alcohol, regardless of the level, as long as it's under the criminal piece you will lose your vehicle for seven days and your driver’s licence will be suspended for 30 days,” explains CPS Inspector Paul Stacey.

According to police, the penalties are handed out fairly frequently In 2013, 333 Graduated Driver’s Licenses were suspended after the driver’s blood alcohol level was determined to be less than 0.08mg and above 0.

Alberta's graduated licence system went into effect in May of 2003