Edmonton DUI or Impaired Driving Charges? Better Call a Lawyer!
The rules on drinking and driving (“DUI”) are getting stricter all the time. The main “impaired driving” laws as contained in the federal Criminal Code of Canada are commonly known as:
- Impaired Driving,
- Driving with certain amounts of alcohol in your blood, such as “over .08” or “over .05”, and
- Refusing to Blow
If you find yourself with a DUI (“driving under the influence”), a DWI (“driving while impaired” or “driving while intoxicated”) or other drinking and driving charge, you need to talk to a lawyer. Your best defence is to get a lawyer. Geoff Green is a lawyer who can help you fight the charges, keep your license and minimize your mistake. If you get caught, call Geoff.
Federal and Provincial legislation both come into play in the drinking and driving offenses. This is because the federal government has jurisdiction over criminal law, but the provinces are given jurisdiction over property and civil rights, which includes drivers licenses and the requirements to be a licensed driver.
As a result, some penalties for the drunk driving offenses are contained in the Criminal Code, while other sanctions or regulatory rules are contained in provincial legislation.
The overlap in the drinking and driving rules makes things somewhat complicated, and the rules seem to be constantly changing so consulting with a lawyer is a definite must if someone runs afoul of the drinking and driving laws. Geoff Green has over 20 years experience and can help you try to hang onto your drivers license.
Immediate Consequences Of Being Stopped For DUI Impaired Driving
In Alberta, the consequences for driving with alcohol in your body, or for driving while impaired, begin immediately. Over the course of 2012 the government of Alberta passed new legislation that was phased in over time and resulted in these immediate consequences.
Implemented July 1, 2012
For drivers with blood alcohol over .08:
- Criminal charge
- Immediate license suspension which is sustained until criminal charge is resolved.
- 1st charge: sustained license suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure, “Planning Ahead” course.
- 2nd charge: sustained license suspension, 7- day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
- 3rd charge: sustained license suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
- Mandatory ignition interlock after criminal conviction – 1 year for 1st conviction; 3 years for 2nd conviction; 5 years for 3rd conviction.
Implemented September 1, 2012
For drivers with Blood Alcohol .05 to .08:
- 1st offense – Immediate 3-day license suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure.
- 2nd offense – Immediate 15-day license suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Planning Ahead” course.
- 3rd offense – Immediate 30-day license suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
Implemented July 1, 2012
For new (GDL) drivers with blood alcohol over .00
- GDL driver found with any blood alcohol – Immediate 30-day license suspension and 7-day vehicle seizure
Penalties For Being Convicted Of DUI Impaired Driving Offenses
There are minimum penalties contained in the Criminal Code for impaired driving. These are:
Minimum Criminal Code Penalties
Canada Wide Driving Prohibition
||$1000||1 – 3 year driving prohibition|
||30 days jail||2 – 5 year driving prohibition|
|3rd or + offense
||120 days jail||not less than 3 year driving prohibition|
These are just the minimums under the Criminal Code. They can be raised higher by the actual Judge hearing any given case.
Then there are the Provincial suspensions that follow a criminal conviction. These arise by virtue of the Highway Traffic & Safety Act of Alberta and other provincial legislation.
Minimum Alberta Provincial Suspensions
||1 year suspension|
||3 years if prior occurred within past 10 years|
|3rd or +||5 years|
Alberta Ignition Interlock Program
The Criminal Code allows for a shorter period of prohibition in Alberta because Alberta offers the Ignition Interlock Program. There are special rules that apply. Talk to a lawyer. To be eligible to the accused, the sentencing judge must not prohibit it, and it must be allowed for by the Transportation Safety Board. Talk to a lawyer.
An ignition interlock is an alcohol sensing device installed on the applicant’s vehicle which requires random samples of breath from the driver to continue the vehicle’s operation. If an alcohol level above a certain minimal level is detected the vehicle will be shut down. These devices are expensive to install and maintain. Talk to a lawyer.
Possible Provincial Interlock Reductions
reduction to as low as 3 months
reduction to as low as 6 months
|3rd and + offenses
reduction to as low as 12 months
Please know that some of these numbers are variable depending on the case itself, and the actual application of the law to your specific case. Crown or judicial discretion or the use (or non use) of certain notice requirements may also change the situation. Talk to a lawyer.
There are more and other special rules regarding the impaired driving laws and the interlock system that are not listed here. Talk to a lawyer.
Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm
Where bodily harm has been caused, the penalty can increase to as high as 10 years in prison and a 10 year driving prohibition.
Impaired Driving Causing Death
Where a human death has been caused, the penalty can be as high as life in prison and the length of driving prohibition can be for any period of time the court considers proper. Basically, there is no limit as to how long the prohibition can be.
Curative Discharges In DUI Cases
In rare cases, an accused can apply for a “curative discharge”. This is a special disposition that is available if there is recognition of an alcohol or drug addiction. Geoff Green can discuss this discharge with you. In the right circumstances it can be very favorable to the accused.
Talk To A Lawyer – Talk To Geoff Green!
DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DWI (Driving While Impaired), impaired driving, driving over .08, driving over .05, refusing to blow and other drinking and driving offenses are a complex mix of ever changing federal and provincial legislation. It difficult even for lawyers to keep track of all the rules. One thing is sure though – an accused person has various legal rights that belong to them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, various sections of the Criminal Code, in other legislation and at common law. Make sure you use these rights and rules to your advantage by hiring capable legal counsel. Your best defence is to get a lawyer. Geoff Green has over 20 years of experience in these matters.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Call Geoff Green today.
Geoff Green – Edmonton Criminal Defence Lawyer For DUI and Impaired Driving Charges
Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Stony Plain, Athabasca, Barrhead, Boyle, Camrose, Edson, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Cache, Hinton, Jasper, Lac La Biche, Leduc, Lloydminster, Mayerthorpe, Morinville, Onoway, Red Deer, Slave Lake, Valleyview, Vegreville, Westlock, Wetaskiwin, Whitecourt.