A Calgary DUI Lawyer's Tips for Your Defence: Part 1
Though rates have been dropping, and despite the fact that Calgary compares favorably to many cities of its size, impaired driving or "DUI" charges still remain one of the most common criminal charges brought before the Calgary courts and laid against Calgary citizens. These charges can have serious consequences if they lead to a conviction, and in most cases will disrupt your life from the moment you are arrested and/or have charges laid against you.
Automatic license suspensions. Vehicle seizures. Mandatory safe driving classes. These penalties can kick in from the moment you are charged or even suspected of a DUI and placed under arrest. They can affect your family life, your career, and your status in the Calgary community. And the stigma that comes with a DUI can be hard to escape.
That's why I'm here to offer some advice when it comes to your defence against impaired driving charges. As a dedicated defence lawyer with extensive experience handling DUI cases, and with previous experience in Calgary's Crown prosecutor office, I've seen first-hand how the legal system in Calgary works for DUI cases and the Calgary citizens they impact. I put that knowledge to work for my clients every day, and I'm sharing some of the most essential insights here.
Your Best Defence is Avoiding a Calgary DUI Charge
There's no getting around it: defending yourself against a DUI charge is going to mean a disruption to your life. Even if you have all charges dismissed, which is a possibility in certain cases, it will still take time, money, and effort. So while "don't get a DUI in the first place" might not seem like groundbreaking advice, it's worth emphasizing. It also might be more difficult than you realize.
Not only does Calgary and the rest of Alberta currently have two different blood alcohol content (BAC) thresholds for DUI offences driving with a BAC of .05 or higher is an administrative offence; .08 or higher is a criminal offence but you can also be charged with impaired driving even if your BAC is below these limits. If a law enforcement officer has reason to believe you are intoxicated, whether from erratic driving and behavior or a roadside sobriety test, they can place you under arrest for a DUI and compel certain medical tests to determine if you're intoxicated.
It's not just alcohol that can lead to DUI charge, either. If a law enforcement officer thinks you're intoxicated by recreational drugs, prescription drugs, or even over the counter medications, you can be arrested and charged with impaired driving. If you think you might be even slightly impaired, or might have any traces of intoxicants in your system, your best bet is staying out of your vehicle and off the roads.
Contact a Calgary Defence Lawyer for Your DUI Case
You'll be getting some more tips from this Calgary defence lawyer in Part 2 of this article. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about your unique Calgary DUI case, please contact my office for a free initial consultation.