No One is Above Alberta's DUI Laws
As you may know, I've written plenty about the tough impaired driving laws that went into effect in Alberta in 2012. These laws not only impose harsher punishments for impaired driving, commonly known as "DUI" or driving under the influence, here in Calgary and throughout Alberta, but they also define a criminal threshold for drunk driving where only administrative charges existed before.
In other words, you can potentially find yourself in jail and with a lifelong criminal record if you're convicted of a DUI in Alberta.
A recent case from Edmonton shows just how serious Alberta is with its tough new stance on impaired driving. NO matter who you are or what your position is, driving while intoxicated puts you at incredible legal as well as physical risk, and jeopardizes the future of your career and your family.
Even Alberta's Lawyers Are Subject to Alberta's DUI Laws
An unfortunately high number of people are arrested for impaired driving in Alberta everyday. Last year, more than one thousand DUI arrests were made by the Calgary Police alone. That doesn't even represent all of the DUI charges laid in the Greater Calgary Area let alone the whole of Alberta. One recent case stands out, however, due to the driver involved.
As reported in the Edmonton Journal, one of Alberta's own Crown prosecutors was recently charged with a DUI. Because law enforcement reportedly recorded a BAC greater than .08, this lawyer in the criminal justice system faced a criminal impaired driving charge, including potential jail time if he was convicted.
Media covering the story indicates that the Crown prosecutor cooperated with law enforcement and agreed to enter a treatment program as part of a "curative discharge" agreement. Harsh though Alberta's impaired driving laws are, they recognize that legitimate alcohol and drug dependency issues can and do exist, and individuals suffering from such addictions can often access help in lieu of prison sentences.
This means a chance at real recovery, rather than a lifetime of stigma and limited opportunities.
The driver in this case still had his license suspended for a year and is required to pay a $1,500 fine as well as a $450 victim fine surcharge. That outcome is certainly costly and should make drivers in Calgary and throughout Alberta think twice about getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. The outcome could have been worse, however, and it's good to see that the laws, though harsh, are at least fairly applied, and that they allow those with dependency issues to get the help they need.
Everyone Facing a DUI Charge in Calgary Deserves a Fair Shot
Everyone in Calgary, from Crown prosecutors to police officers to everyday citizens, deserves a fair chance at a fulfilling future not matter what crime they've been charged with. Anyone charged with a crime, including impaired driving, is also entitled to speak with an experienced defence lawyer. If you or a family member has been charged with a DUI in Calgary and you would like to speak with a dedicated and compassionate Calgary DUI defence lawyer, please contact my office today.