A Calgary's Lawyer's Guide to DUI / Impaired Driving Defence: Part 2
The Calgary DUI defence lawyer's advice continues, moving on from Calgary's impaired driving laws to discuss the potential penalties.
In Part 1 of this guide you learned that the impaired driving laws in Calgary define specific limits for alcohol-related DUIs. Specifically, if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 or greater, you can be charged with an infraction, and a BAC of .08 or greater can lead to a criminal charge. You also read that other drugs, including legally-prescribed medications and recreational drugs, can potentially lead to a DUI charge if they are found in your system in any amount.
Still, you might be thinking, what's the big deal? If it's so easy to be charged with a DUI, and if so many impaired driving cases hit the Calgary courts every day, then the punishment is probably a slap on the wrist, right?
Not even close, especially since Alberta's new impaired driving laws went into effect. Now, you can face steep consequences from the second you're charged with a DUI in Calgary, before you've even been given the chance to raise a defence. Get convicted, and the penalties get even worse.
DUI Penalties as Soon as the Calgary Police Get Involved
Everyone is supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty in a Calgary court, but Alberta's impaired driving law does away with this Charter right and imposes penalties for many DUI cases. If a field test indicates that you have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher, you face an immediate vehicle seizure and license suspension, with your license to remain suspended until your case is resolved in court, a process that can take months.
Even if the stop is deemed illegal, even if the reading is faulty and the case against you is ultimately dismissed, you can lose your legal right to drive in Calgary and anywhere else from the moment you are arrested and/or charged.
If you're convicted of a DUI, whether it's an infraction for a BAC between .05 and .08 or a criminal charge for a BAC of .08 or higher, you face additional penalties. Monetary fines in the thousands, ongoing vehicle seizures and license suspensions, required attendance at safe driving courses, and even jail for a period of a year or more for repeat DUI convictions.
Each of these penalties can be a major setback in your career, your family life, and your place within your Calgary community. In other words, the penalties for a DUI in Calgary are a very big deal, despite what you may have thought.
Give Yourself the Best DUI Defence Possible
If you've been charged with impaired driving in Calgary, make no mistake: there are serious consequences on the line. Give yourself the best chance you can to put your DUI case behind you quickly and completely by contacting an experienced Calgary defence lawyer. For a free initial consultation, please contact my office today.