Impaired Driving/DUIs and a Calgary Defence Lawyer's Word of Warning: Part 2

Continuing a previous article, a Calgary DUI defence lawyer speaks out about the several DUI law pitfalls Calgary drivers may fall into.

In Part 1 of this article I provided a few words of warning regarding Calgary DUI laws. Specifically, we discussed the broad powers that the Calgary Police and other law enforcement officers have when it comes to investigating suspected or potential DUIs. Though many of these enhanced powers are legally and ethically controversial, they remain the law of the land in Calgary and throughout Alberta, and everyone in Calgary should be aware of them.

We also looked briefly at the definition of "impaired driving" under current Calgary law. A DUI may be charged as a "minor" infraction if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is between .05 and .08, and with a criminal offence if your BAC is above .08. Even the lesser charge can still carry serious consequences, and should not be taken lightly. You can also be charged with a DUI in Calgary if you have any intoxicating controlled substance in your bloodstream while you are operating a vehicle.

These legal facts are scary enough, but this Calgary DUI defence lawyer has a few more words of warning that everyone should take to heart.

Suspected DUIs in Calgary Can Lead to Other Charges

As we learned in Part 1, the Calgary Police and other law enforcement officers are allowed to use "DUI Checkstops" to stop all drivers passing a certain point and require them to submit to roadside sobriety tests, and they can also require you to submit to roadside sobriety tests during routine traffic stops, as well. What you may not know, however, is that refusing to submit to these tests is a criminal offence in and of itself. That is, though you may still ultimately be charged with a DUI/impaired driving offence, you may also be charged for failing to submit to a law officer's lawful request to provide evidence of sobriety.

We also noted in Part 1 that DUI charges can be brought against you even if you didn't violate any traffic rules—whether or not you were driving safely and within the bounds of the law is immaterial; driving while impaired is a crime in and of itself. This means you can also be charged with crimes for other serious driving infractions separately from any DUI charge, even if the charges arise from a single incident. Reckless driving and otherwise causing extreme risk and/or injury and damage to people and property can constitute various criminal acts, any or all of which may be brought against you at the same time as a DUI charge.

All of these crimes are serious, and carry serious consequences for you and your family. The best way to avoid such charges is to know the law, and to never get behind the wheel if you are at all intoxicated or have reason to believe there are intoxicants in your system.

Contact a Calgary DUI Defence Lawyer Today

If you or a family member has been charged with a DUI or impaired driving charge in Calgary, please contact my office today for a free initial consultation.