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Impaired driving

Impaired driving offences are in a category all to themselves. They are highly technical and are one of the few areas of criminal law where people are legally obligated to participate in police investigations by providing bodily samples or complying with physical tests.

With the legalization of marijuana, the Canadian Government has rolled out new impaired driving legislation that addresses impaired driving, whether by alcohol or drug. Generally speaking, the main impaired driving offences are:

    1. Operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drug


    1. Operating a motor vehicle while one’s blood alcohol content is over the legal limit, or blood drug content exceeds the prescribed limit for that drug


  1. Refusing to provide a breath or a blood sample, or refusing to comply with physical coordination testing. This category includes offences where you attempted to provide a sample but were unsuccessful

Each of the above offences carries a mandatory minimum financial penalty for first-time offenders and a mandatory minimum jail sentence for repeat offenders. In addition, you will receive a conviction on your criminal record and you will receive a driving prohibition, making it illegal for you to operate a motor vehicle across the Country. If you are convicted of an impaired driving offence and causing bodily harm or death, significant jail sentences are expected.

Importantly, the consequences of being charged with an impaired driving related offence in Alberta begin immediately upon your arrest. You will be subject to an immediate suspension of your operator’s licence and your vehicle will be seized for 3 days for first-time offenders. The only way to avoid the ongoing impact of this suspension is to successfully file an Alberta Administrative Licence Suspension Appeal. This appeal must be filed within 30 days of your offence date – do not hesitate. Our office has extensive experience in AALS appeals and can quickly get you on the right track.

When it comes to impaired driving offences, experience truly is the key to a successful defence. Our lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of impaired driving cases in jurisdictions throughout the province and we can help you get back on the road too.

If you have been charged with an impaired driving offence, contact us today.


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