7 DUI Facts Your Calgary Defence Lawyer Wants You to Know: Part 2

This is Part 2 of a three-part article series. To start with Part 1, please click here.

Those first two DUI tips are important when it comes to understanding some of the immediate legal consequences of a DUI or impaired driving arrest here in Calgary. The fact that you can face a criminal charge for impaired driving, and not just an administrative charge, is a surprising fact for many people, though Alberta's new DUI laws have been in effect since 2012, not everyone is aware of how significantly these laws changed the legal landscape when it comes to impaired driving in the Greater Calgary Area and throughout the province.

These next two facts also have to do with the law, and how it can be applied to the investigation and the punishment of suspected and convicted Calgary drivers. Make sure to read these carefully, as they outline your responsibilities and clear up a common misconception many have when it comes to defending against a DUI charge in Calgary.

3. You Must Comply with Calgary Police When They Suspect a DUI
You are always required to comply with reasonable requests made by law enforcement officers. When it comes to your conduct and your compliance during a stop that involves a suspected DUI, however, you can face a separate and specific criminal charge if you fail to obey the Calgary Police or other law enforcement officers at the scene.

First, like all drivers in Calgary and throughout Alberta, you have to present your driver's license and proof of insurance when asked by an officer. When the officer has reason to suspect you are impaired, which is essentially at the officer's discretion, you are also required to comply with their request that you perform a roadside sobriety test and/or provide a breath sample for immediate blood-alcohol content (BAC) analysis to determine if you've had too much to drink.

Failure to comply with these requests is a criminal offence in and of itself, and will most likely lead to your immediate arrest whether or not you were actually intoxicated in the first place.

4. Strict DUI Investigation and Punishment is the Law of the Land
Many people have voiced their opinion that Alberta's DUI laws are unfair. Not only are there automatic penalties that can be imposed immediately upon arrest for a suspected DUI, but law enforcement agencies like the Calgary Police have also been granted broad authority when it comes to investigating suspected or even potential DUIs.

Most significantly, the use of DUI "checkstops," where all drivers are stopped and potentially subjected to sobriety analysis have been decried as warrantless searches and a violation of presumed innocence. Some who have been charged with DUIs in Calgary think that arguing that the laws are and law enforcement practices are unfair will be an effective defence.

Unfortunately, it won't. These laws and practices have been upheld by the courts many times, and while they may indeed be unfair and even illegal under the Charter, they aren't going anywhere for now.

For a Calgary DUI defence strategy that's truly effective, contact defence lawyer Susan Karpa today. For three more facts about Calgary DUI law you should know, read Part 3 of this article here.