How Calgary Residents Can Avoid Impaired Driving Charges

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Calgary’s impaired driving laws carry some stiff penalties for those found driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance. However, Calgary drivers can take effective steps to avoid incurring DUI charges in the first place. While Alberta's new impaired driving laws make it possible to face criminal charges and automatic penalties even if you aren't actually intoxicated,the information in this article will help keep you and those around you safer, while also giving you the best chance at avoiding an impaired driving charge.

Can Calgary Drivers Recognize Intoxication?

Every driver in Calgary knows that ingesting an intoxicating substance before getting behind the wheel is a bad idea. The problem is that many drivers don’t really recognize when they’re intoxicated. Those who don’t drink often (and many who do drink often) may be under the impression that one or two drinks can't cause intoxication.

However, even a single drink can result in slower reaction times and poor decision making. It doesn't matter how often you drink or how well you think you can "handle yourself." While it’s true that some drivers intentionally drive after becoming intoxicated, there are many cases where slight intoxication from “just one drink” resulted in an accident, or simply in an impaired driving charge. The best way to prevent this outcome is to never imbibe alcohol or any other intoxicating substance before driving.

While driving after even a single drink increases your risk of an accident and of DUI charges, the law in Calgary does recognize a difference between a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 and one of .08. A BAC of .05 or greater carries administrative penalties, while a BAC of .08 or greater can lead to criminal charges. This doesn’t mean that you should drive when you’re feeling “just a little tipsy” or “kind of buzzed.” Don’t get behind the wheel if there’s any chance you’re intoxicated. You can’t be “just a little drunk;” even the smallest amount of intoxication can have substantial adverse effects on your reflexes and driving skills.

The Calgary Police Won't Listen to Explanations for DUIs

Impaired driving is often the result of someone deciding they're "OK to drive" when they've become intoxicated but have somewhere else they "need" to be. An appointment, a family emergency, and other situations might seem to make the DUI risk worthwhile. From both a safety and a legal perspective, nothing could be further from the truth.

There is no situation, no appointment, and no emergency so immediate that it justifies driving under the influence. You are far more likely to make things worse for you and your loved ones if you drive while drunk or otherwise intoxicated. Stay put until you're sober, and you'll be far better equipped to deal with whatever the situation may be—and far safer as you drive down Calgary's streets.

Charged with Impaired Driving in Calgary?

If you’ve been charged with impaired driving, you need a criminal defence lawyer who’ll give your case the attention it deserves. Susan Karpa has made a career-long commitment to helping those facing criminal charges in Calgary. Contact her office today for a free initial consultation.

 

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