Will a DUI Defence Become IMPOSSIBLE in Calgary? Part 2
In Part 1 of this article, you read about the apparent Charter violations in Alberta's strict impaired driving or "DUI" laws. Despite a significant decline in DUI rates before the law went into effect (with no evidence that the law did anything to contribute to a further decline), a new law was put in place that not only created a criminal charge for some DUIs, but that led to what many consider violations of privacy and of rights to remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to be presumed innocent, and the right to consult with a lawyer when arrested and/or charged with a crime.
Not only can you or anyone else in the Greater Calgary Area find yourself under arrest for a suspected DUI even if you were sober and following every single traffic law, but that arrest can potentially lead to your vehicle being impounded and your license being suspended before you've even had a chance to defend yourself in court. Now, the Canadian government is considering taking things even further.
How Calgary's DUI Laws Could Get Even More Invasive and Unfair
Under Alberta's impaired driving laws, a Calgary Police officer or other law enforcement officer has to reasonably suspect you of a DUI before they can demand a roadside breath analysis to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Under the new federal legislation recently proposed, officers and drivers alike may be required to use breathalayzers at every traffic stop. If you're pulled over for speeding or failing to use a turn signal, you may be required to blow into a breathalyzer even if the officer doesn't suspect you of being impaired.
Breathalyzers have frequently been accused of inaccuracy and require regular maintenance that they don't always receive. Yet despite their sometimes erroneous results, the federal government would make their use mandatory at every traffic stop, meaning a missed stop sign or a crossed lane line could lead to a lost license, impounded car, and even jail time!
In addition, if this legislation becomes law, Calgary Police and RCMP officers will be able to conduct BAC tests up to two hours after you've been driving, meaning you could potentially get home from work, have a couple beers, and find the police at your door with a breathalyzer accusing you of a DUI and you could actually be found guilty!
We all want a safer Calgary (though it should also be noted that our city is one of the safest in the world). We all want a safer Canada. But there's no evidence that harsher laws reduce DUIs and make us safer, and these continued encroachments into our civil liberties aren't worth it at any price.
Fight for Your Rights! Contact a Calgary DUI Defence Lawyer Today
If you've been charged with a DUI in Calgary, no matter what the circumstance, you have rights! Partnering with an experienced defence lawyer is your best way to protect them. For a free initial consultation, please contact my office today.