Chemistry, the Law, and Your Calgary DUI: Part 1

The law is often full of gray areas, despite being written in black and white. If complex situations were governed by certain and indisputable laws, there would be little room for justice, or mercy, for that matter. If that weren't the case, if everything were cut and dry all the time, in every circumstance, there wouldn't be much room in the legal system for justice (or for mercy, for that matter).

There also wouldn't be much need for Calgary's courts, judges, Crown prosecutors or defence lawyers, and there would be a lot more people headed straight for convictions without the benefit of a trial. Instead, judges interpret the law and juries (as well as judges, in many cases) can hear facts presented and determine whether certain laws have been broken, with a black and white outcome delivered only after everyone has had their day and all considerations have been made.

At least, that's how things usually work. With impaired driving charges or DUIs in the Calgary area, the line defining a crime is very black and white, and the penalties can be instant. Though this may seem to fly in the face of the presumption of innocence and may not in fact be the best way to handle the public risk created by drunk driving, it is the law of the land in Alberta and is something every Calgary citizen should be aware of.

A Hard Line Approach to Defining Drunk Driving

In 2012, new legislation went into effect throughout Alberta that changed the way DUIs were handled. Previously dealt with only as a traffic infraction or an administrative issue, the new impaired driving laws defined a criminal charge for impaired driving as well as a lesser administrative penalty, and established automatic punishments including vehicle seizures and license suspensions that can go into effect from the moment an arrest is made.

Not only was this law far harsher in its approach to punishing those in the Greater Calgary Area and throughout Alberta arrested for impaired driving, it also set up a black and white definition for DUIs involving alcohol such that behavior, driving ability, and actual intoxication were taken out of the equation. In fact, under these new laws it is technically possible to find yourself charged with a DUI, whether administrative or criminal, even if you do not feel or outwardly appear to be intoxicated at all.

Even if you've broken no other laws, have obeyed all the rules of the road, and pass all the Calgary Police's field sobriety tests with flying colors.

How is this possible, you ask? That's where the chemistry comes in, and you'll have to stay tuned for Part 2 of this article to find out how.

Your Calgary DUI Defence Lawyer Choice is Clear

Another issue the law is very clear on is your right to consult with a Calgary DUI defence lawyer if you've been charged with impaired driving. For a free initial consultation to discuss your DUI case and defence options, please contact my office today.