The new legislation in Canada will increase the maximum penalties for impaired driving (DUI). The police have the authority to perform a roadside screening test to determine whether or not a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legalization of marijuana across Canada is one of the reasons why legislators want to discourage driving while being high. From immigration-related issues to suspension of your drivers’ license, DUI charges can have a serious impact on your life.
People with even a single DUI on their record can be turned away at the border. While being arrested or charged with DUI can be a stressful situation, it’s important to understand your options or how the legal process can help you produce the best outcome. If you have been charged with DUI, don’t wait or hesitate, consult a DUI lawyer to get the right advice.
If you’re thinking of pleading guilty to an impaired driving charge in hopes of getting the minimum penalty or skipping court proceedings, you should know that a criminal record can have a long-lasting impact on your ability to drive or obtain a job in the future. Not to mention, your insurance premiums will increase. Take your DUI charges seriously and make the right steps to avoid a criminal record.
DUI charges in Alberta
First and foremost, hire a competent DUI lawyer who can examine your situation. DUI laws vary from province to province, so a good DUI lawyer in your province will be able to provide the best legal advice on how you should handle the DUI charge. In Alberta, you can be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) has been tested to be 80 ml in 100 ml of blood, also called driving over .08. If you blow over .08, a police officer may charge you after conducting a test using a roadside breathalyzer instrument. You might undergo another test at the police station.
If a driver refuses to facilitate the breathalyzer test, in addition to being charged with DUI, the driver can also be charged with refusal to comply. DUI and refusing a breathalyzer are two different crimes. Therefore, it’s not advisable to refuse to comply under section 254(5) of the Criminal Code.
According to Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, when a person is charged with a DUI offence, he/she will face driving disqualification which takes effect immediately. If you are found guilty of a DUI offence in Alberta, you won’t be allowed to operate a motor vehicle for a specific period of time, or you won’t be able to drive a vehicle without an ignition interlock device for one year for a first conviction. This time period increases in the case of a second or third subsequent conviction.
For a person to be convicted of DUI, it’s mandatory to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time in question. In most cases, the testimony of the accused and of the police are the only evidence.
If you’re dealing with DUI charges, your lawyer will carefully analyze the evidence provided by the police and find ways to reject the evidence based on reasonable doubts.
About Slaferek Callihoo
Slaferek Law is a team of Edmonton criminal defence lawyers specializing in DUI defence. If you have been charged for impaired driving, we’re ready to help you avoid a criminal record or minimize the impact of the charge. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation!