A Calgary's Lawyer's Guide to DUI / Impaired Driving Defence: Part 1

The best info on Calgary DUIs from the most reliable source: a DUI defence lawyer with YOUR interests in mind.

Reliable, informed advice about Calgary's impaired driving or "DUI" (driving under the influence) laws can be hard to come by. Without accurate information, it's hard for you to protect your rights and interests. That could explain why more than a thousand people in the Greater Calgary Area find themselves facing DUI charges every year, and why the majority of those charged end up convicted or facing other consequences.

In this four-part guide to impaired driving offences and your DUI defence, a dedicated Calgary defence lawyer tells you everything you need to know to protect yourself and stay on the right side of the law.

Legal Definitions of DUI / Impaired Driving in Calgary

Though impaired driving has been against the law in every province for generations, Alberta enacted a new DUI law in 2012 that created lower thresholds and harsher penalties for DUIs and suspected DUIs. Knowing the limits imposed by this law is your first and best defence against an impaired driving charge in Calgary.

When most people think of a DUI, they think of drunk driving, people who drive while impaired by alcohol. Alcohol-related DUIs are also the most common type of impaired driving case seen in the Calgary courts. Under the law, anyone operating a vehicle on Calgary's public roads and highways with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 or higher can be charged with an impaired driving infraction, and anyone with a BAC of .08 or greater can be charged with a criminal DUI.

For most people, this means 1 or 2 drinks can put you at or over the legal limit. Whether or not you feel "buzzed" or at all intoxicated when you get behind the wheel, and no matter how careful and in-control you are, the Calgary Police can charge you with a DUI if you drive with a BAC over the legally-defined thresholds.

DUI charges aren't limited to those drivers suspected of being impaired by alcohol, either. If you are under the influence of any other mind-altering drug, including legally prescribed pharmaceuticals like pain killers or antidepressants, you can potentially be charged with a DUI. Driving with drugs like marijuana or cocaine in your system also puts you at risk of a DUI charge, no matter how much (or how little) of the substance is detected.

Avoiding a Calgary DUI is Your Safest Defence

In the next part of this guide, we'll look at the penalties you might face from the second you are charged with a DUI, and how things can get even worse with a conviction. In the meantime, keep the law's limits on alcohol and other substances in mind, and don't drive if you think you even might have a substance in your system that could lead to an impaired driving charge.

If you find yourself facing an impaired driving charge anyway, don't wait. Call an experienced Calgary DUI defence lawyer today to get the help you deserve.