The Perfect Mix for a Calgary DWI/DUI Defence?

The Perfect Mix for a Calgary DWI/DUI Defence?

As detailed in last week's article, Alberta established new administrative penalties for drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .05, and new criminal and administrative penalties for drivers with a BAC over .08. These new DWI/DUI rules are meant to keep everyone on Alberta's roads—including in the City of Calgary and the surrounding area—safer and healthier, and so far they seem to be working as intended. Fewer people are driving while intoxicated, and fewer alcohol-related accidents are occurring.

A question that might rightly be on many Calgarians' minds is, how many drinks does it take to reach a BAC of .05 or .08? We all know not to get behind the wheel if we feel at all intoxicated; as soon as our judgment or reaction times are impaired, we become less safe drivers, and we put ourselves and others at risk if we take to the roads. In terms of the legal guidelines, though, most Canadians are likely unaware of when they might be officially over the limit and into DWI/DUI territory.

When you combine too many drinks with the decision to drive, you've got the perfect recipe for an intoxicated driving offence, and you'll likely find yourself in the mix for a Calgary DWI/DUI defence.

BAC, DWI, DUI—The Facts Behind the Acronyms

Blood alcohol content is simply a measure of how much alcohol is in a person's bloodstream. Every person is different, and might feel more or less intoxicated than the average person with a given BAC, but for laws to be fair measurable limits have to be set. This is why BAC is one tool used to determine when someone is "driving while intoxicated" (DWI) or "driving under the influence" (DUI)—terms that mean the same thing.

Everyone is also different when it comes to metabolizing alcohol, and the same drink can lead to different BACs for different people, and even for the same person in different circumstances. Height and weight, how much someone eats before they drink, and numerous other factors can influence BAC. For that reason, the best way to make sure you're on the right side of the law is to stay away from driving if you even think you might be over the limit.

There are some BAC estimators out there, such as this one provided by the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission, however these estimators have no legal standing and are to be used only as a reference, not as a way to determine if your are intoxicated or legally able to drive.

Drinking and Driving Responsibly on Calgary's Roads

Again, keep in mind that these are very general guidelines, and that BAC and intoxication vary greatly from person to person. If you feel at all intoxicated, or if you think you might be close to the legal limit based on how much you've been drinking, don't get behind the wheel. That's the surest way to keep you safe and out of any legal trouble.

If you find yourself facing a DWI/DUI charge, whether for an administrative or criminal penalty, you are entitled to speak with a criminal defence lawyer. Contact experienced Calgary defence lawyer Susan Karpa for a free consultation.

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