The ONE DUI Fact Everyone In Calgary Needs to Know

If you've been reading this blog at all, or if you have another source for all the DUI news in Calgary, you know by now that Alberta established new limits and new penalties for impaired driving back in 2012. You know that driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 or greater can result in an administrative charge, and that driving with a BAC of .08 or greater can result in a criminal charge, with automatic penalties that begin the moment of your arrest and can continue until your case is resolved in the Calgary courts.

But did you know that you can be charged with a DUI even if you're not over the legal BAC limit?

First, you can be charged with drunk driving if your behaviour, behind the wheel and during a conversation with a member of the Calgary Police or other law enforcement officer, leads the officer to believe you're drunk. It is entirely possible to become intoxicated without crossing the BAC thresholds defined by law; those thresholds are based on average relationships between blood alcohol content and intoxication, but alcohol affects everyone differently.

If you're drunk, you can be charged with drunk driving, no matter how few drinks you've had or how low your BAC is.

Second, you can be charged with impaired driving if you are intoxicated by a substance other than alcohol. This includes illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana (and yes, it will still be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana even when marijuana is formally legalized) as well as prescription drugs that cause an intoxicating effects.

Stay safe. Drive sober. Protect your health and keep the law at bay.