For these reasons, it is very important that everyone who is charged with an impaired driving offence consult with a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. For many people, the most significant penalty for driving under the influence is the loss of their driver’s licence. Because impaired driving is a criminal offence, a conviction will result in a criminal record. If a person has already been convicted of an impaired driving offence, the penalties can be even more severe. It is not unusual for people to be charged with both impaired driving and driving over the legal limit. It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while your ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or drugs.
To prove a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol, police officers will testify about signs of impairment they observed. Observations of any unusual driving pattern, such as weaving between lanes or hitting the curb. There are sometimes other reasonable explanations for a person’s behaviour or signs of impairment other than overconsumption of alcohol.
Note that it is also against the law to operate a vehicle while impaired by drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
It is a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle while your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit set out in the Criminal Code: 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
Your own blood alcohol level depends on a number of factors, such as how much you have had to drink, the alcohol content of each drink, when you consumed each drink, your weight, your gender, how quickly you absorbed the alcohol, and how quickly your body eliminates alcohol.
There are ways for a DUI lawyer to defend you against a charge of driving over 80 – even if your breath samples were over the legal limit.
A person is only required to give a breath sample where a peace officer legally demands that they provide such a sample.
The first type of breath testing machine is usually used by officers on patrol, or when the police first stop a driver at a Checkstop.
Before a police officer can require you to blow into a roadside screening device, they must have some reason to suspect that you have alcohol in your body. A person usually does not have the right to speak with a lawyer before they provide a breath sample into a roadside screening device. The second type of breath testing machine is found at a police station or at a Checkstop van.
Before a police officer can require you to blow into this machine, they must have reasonable grounds to believe that your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol, or reasonable grounds to believe that you are over the legal limit. Unlike the roadside screening test, a person does have the right to consult with a lawyer before they decide whether to provide breath samples into an approved instrument. If the police had the legal right to require you to provide either kind of breath sample discussed above, it is a criminal offence to fail or refuse to provide a suitable sample.
If you have a medical condition that makes it dangerous or impossible for you to provide a valid breath sample. If you do not understand that the officer is demanding that you provide a breath sample because you do not speak the same language as the officer. In addition, the police officer may not have had the legal right to demand a breath sample in the first place. There are possible defences to a charge of refusing a breath demand, so it is important to consult with a lawyer who can advise you whether you might have a defence. The minimum penalties for refusing to provide a breath sample are the same as the penalties for impaired driving or driving over the legal limit.
Every driver knows that it is against the law to drive a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, or to drive while over the legal blood alcohol limit.
If you can show that you were not sitting in the driver’s seat for the purpose of operating the vehicle, and if there was no significant risk that you could accidentally put the vehicle in motion, it may be possible to convince a judge that you were not in care and control of the vehicle. For persons who are charged with an impaired driving offence and who need treatment for alcoholism or a problem with drug or alcohol abuse, the Criminal Code provides a way to avoid a criminal record, or mandatory jail time for a second or subsequent offence.
Where injuries result from an accident, the penalties for a conviction for impaired driving offences can be very severe.
In Canada, Parliament has the power to create criminal offences for the entire country, but the provinces also have the authority to create rules related to driving. Alberta has established penalties for drinking and driving that are completely separate from the Canada-wide penalties for the criminal impaired driving offences. You failed or refused, without a reasonable excuse, to comply with the officer’s demand that you provide a sample of your breath. After seizing your licence, the officer will give you a temporary driver’s licence that takes effect 24 hours after your licence was seized, and that lasts for 21 days.
In practice, if a police officer decides to charge you with an impaired driving offence under the Criminal Code, the police officer will almost always issue the provincial Administrative Licence Suspension as well. Although the Administrative Licence Suspension program has fewer procedural safeguards in place than the criminal process, it is possible to appeal these suspensions to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board. If a police officer suspects that you have consumed alcohol or a drug, and if the officer also reasonably suspects that the alcohol or drugs have affected your physical or mental abilities, the officer can seize your driver’s licence and suspend your driving privileges for 24 hours.
A person who is on a Graduated Driver’s Licence (GDL) is not permitted to have any alcohol in his or her body while driving.
It is possible to appeal these one-month suspensions to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board, but because of the short length of the suspension, an appeal should be filed very quickly. If you are convicted of a criminal impaired driving offence, the judge will prohibit you from driving anywhere in Canada. If you are found guilty of two impaired driving-related offences within 10 years, you will be disqualified from driving in Alberta for three years from the date of your latest conviction. If you are found guilty of three impaired driving-related offences within 10 years, you will be disqualified from driving in Alberta for five years from the date of your latest conviction. In Alberta, person convicted of impaired driving may participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. For a first offence, the minimum waiting period for the Ignition Interlock is three months from the date you are found guilty of impaired driving.
If you can prove to the Transportation Safety Board that your blood alcohol level was less than twice the legal limit, you may be given an exemption from participating in the Interlock Program, but you still will not get your licence back until the end of any driving prohibition unless you enroll in the Interlock Program. If you are currently facing charges for impaired driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving over the legal limit, refusal to take a breath test, or causing bodily harm while driving impaired, it is important that you speak with an experienced DUI lawyer.
WARNING: Sending information to us through our website does not create a lawyer-client relationship between yourself and Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey. However, as the science of breath and blood alcohol content analysis advanced, opportunities to refine the tools of the DUI defense practioner emerged. Learn more about how we can use DUI Pro software to evaluate and verify the accuracy of your breath test results.
The scientific and legal issues associated with breath testing in Pinellas County DUI cases are complex. Awarded only to law firms with the highest level of skill, integrity, an ethical standards. An attorney-led research team named the top 2.5% of lawyers in Florida for this distinction.
Marc Pelletier was honored by the local legal community when he was elected President of the Pinellas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. This popular consumer resource rated Frank Russo and Marc Pelletier "Superb" for their legal experience, peer recognition and professional conduct.
In 2010 Frank Russo was selected by Tampa Bay Magazine as one of "Tampa Bay's Top Lawyers" in Criminal Law. The law firm of Russo & Russo is honored to be included in the prestigious Martindale Hubbell BarRegister of Preeminent Lawyers.


In 2013 Frank Russo was awarded a "lead Counsel" designation based on the peer review of his legal experience, reputation and demonstrated ethics. The criminal defense attorneys at Russo and Russo are honored to be members of the Florida Association of Drug Court Professionals. Attorney Tim Sullivan is an official Pinellas county juvenile criminal court diversion arbitrator.
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Although you felt fine when leaving the bar, once talking to the officer, your senses seem foggy. Later, in the back of the cop car, you wonder: What exactly is blood alcohol level, and how is it accurately determined?
Since one of the ways that alcohol is released from the body is through breath, a breathalyzer can accurately determine the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood.
Frequent Urination- The body recognizes alcohol as a toxin and tries to eliminate it from the system through urination. This is why a person starts to behave differently, sometimes becoming more outgoing, forthcoming, and inappropriate. Higher-order thinking is affected, and the abilities to make good decisions and effectively process information are limited.
Alcohol also affects the part of the brain associated with memory and emotion, causing exaggerated emotions and fragmentation of memories. Coordination and movement are negatively affected, causing slurs in speech and disruptions in balance. Liver: The liver attempts to remove alcohol from the body, which is recognized as a poison. Kidneys: Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause high blood pressure, which is the leading causing of kidney failure. It’s sometimes difficult to fully comprehend all of the ways that drinking too much alcohol wreaks havoc on the body. In other words, a person dealing with dependency on alcohol has many mental, emotional, and physical health concerns to consider.
If you know someone who has been struggling with drinking too much, then you have probably recognized some of these signs or symptoms.
When your blood sugar is too high or too low, Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep your blood sugar in the range your doctor has advised, it can be too high or too low.
Blood sugar – wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, The blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood of a human or animal. How much is too much?According to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, around 30 people are killed each day in the United States in crashes involving a drunk driver. In an effort to educate US citizens on the dangers of alcohol, the CDC has put together some guidelines to help people know how much is too much. Scroll through the gallery to find out how various levels of alcohol can affect you, and if you want to know what the legal blood-alcohol level is in your state, click here. Defining one drinkBefore we look at how many drinks is too many drinks, here's some helpful information to keep in mind.
The number of drinks listed represents the approximate amount of alcohol that a 160-pound man would need to drink in one hour to reach the listed BAC in each category.
Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Every year, there are about 15,000 people charged in Alberta with the criminal offence of impaired driving. Even though impaired driving has been against the law in Canada for decades, the law is constantly changing.
The public risks of impaired driving have caused police, Crown Prosecutors, and politicians to treat driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously, and the penalties for a conviction have been increasing. The minimum fine for a first conviction for an impaired driving offence is $1,000, and fines can go as high as $5,000 per offence.
Anyone found guilty of an impaired driving offence will be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle anywhere in Canada for a period of at least one year. The conviction will remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life, unless you apply for a criminal record suspension (previously known as a pardon). For example, if you are convicted of an impaired driving offence and you have already been convicted of an impaired driving offence once before, the Crown Prosecutor can often require a judge to sentence you to at least 30 days in jail.
The Crown Prosecutor must not only prove that a person had been drinking, but also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person’s ability to drive was impaired, and that it was alcohol that caused the impairment. It is impossible to precisely estimate a person’s expected blood alcohol level based on the amount of alcohol a person has consumed, since everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. In most cases, before the Crown Prosecutor use your breath samples as proof of your actual blood alcohol level while you were driving, the prosecutor must prove that the samples were taken in accordance with certain legal requirements set out in the Criminal Code.
They do not need to believe you are impaired, intoxicated, or that you are over the legal limit, however. This is a rare example of a situation in Canadian law where a person who is detained by the police does not have the right to contact a lawyer before they participate in a process that could incriminate them. If a police officer tells you that you have the right to speak with a lawyer, you should always tell the officer that you want to contact a lawyer, and speak with a lawyer as soon as possible, so you understand your legal rights and obligations.
There is an exception, however, if you have a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a valid sample or refusing to blow. If the officer did not have the right to force you to provide a breath sample, it is not against the law for you to refuse to provide a sample.
If you are convicted of refusing a breath demand you will receive a criminal record and you will be prohibited from driving anywhere in Canada for at least one year. For example, a person who is asleep in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle with their keys in their pocket is still presumed to be in care and control of that vehicle. Because of this, the Alberta legislature has also made rules prohibiting drinking and driving in certain circumstances, in addition to the Canada-wide Criminal Code rules that prohibit impaired driving.
The Legislature has passed new rules increasing the provincial penalties for drinking and driving under the Criminal Code. Under the Traffic Safety Act, a peace officer can temporarily suspend your driver’s licence if certain conditions are met.
In other words, when the police officer issues you an administrative licence suspension, you are prohibited from driving for one day, and then are given a temporary licence that allows you to drive for 21 days. Unfortunately, the arguments you can make on these appeals are more limited than the arguments you can make at a criminal trial, but successful appeals are possible in some cases. If an officer reasonably suspects that a GLD driver has consumed alcohol, the officer can demand that the driver provide a sample of their breath into the same kind of roadside screening device that is used to screen drivers for Criminal Code offences.
After the 24 hour suspension has ended, the temporary driver’s licence is in force for seven days. In Alberta, the Traffic Safety Act imposes its own consequences if you are convicted of an impaired driving offence under the Criminal Code, apart from the rules set out in the Criminal Code. This program allows some individuals to be re-issued a restricted driver’s licence that allows them to legally drive before the end of their driving prohibition period. Understanding your case, impaired driving charges, and arrest is essential to knowing all of your options. Information that you provide us through this form is not encrypted, and may not be covered by solicitor-client privilege, which means it may be possible for this information to be used against you. Tim Sullivan was honored to be recognized as a member of this prestigious group of legal practitioners.
Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. After having a few drinks and finishing them off with some shots, you realize that it is getting late and need to get going.


You know that a sobriety test and breathalyzer are about to take place, and it’s not going to be good.
Research has shown that once Blood Alcohol Concentration reaches .09 percent or higher, senses and ability to respond in common tasks (such as driving) are greatly hindered. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.
Regular people from all walks of life often find themselves facing a criminal record, the loss of their driver’s licence, serious employment consequences, and substantially higher auto insurance premiums. There have been major changes to drinking and driving laws in recent years, and there are new court decisions being issued every day.
Only a experienced criminal defense DUI lawyer can properly advise you about your chances of successfully fighting an impaired driving charge. It will take at least five years before you are eligible to apply to have your criminal record expunged. Charging you with both offences simply gives the Crown Prosecutor two different ways to prove your guilt.
It is important to remember that slight symptoms of impairment do not always mean that a person’s ability to drive is also impaired. It is enough that the officer reasonably suspects that you have some alcohol in your system. Therefore, if you fail the roadside screening test, the police can use that result to demand that you provide breath samples into the more accurate machine at the police station. All too often, people who never intended to drive while impaired find themselves charged with a criminal offence because the police found them sitting in the driver’s seat. A person who receives a curative discharge is placed on a period of probation to help them overcome their addiction, but they will still lose their driver’s licence for a minimum of one year. This requires evidence from a doctor or addictions counsellor about the nature of the person’s addiction. A conviction for impaired driving causing bodily harm routinely results in jail, and sentences for impaired driving causing death can result in long penitentiary sentences. The provincial rules are not criminal laws, but they can result in serious consequences, such as the suspension of your driver’s licence. As of the date this was written (April 2012), these increased penalties have not yet taken effect, but they are expected to take effect very shortly.
These suspensions will not show up on your criminal record, but they will be recorded on your driver’s abstract. After those 21 days are up, your driver’s licence is automatically suspended for an additional three months. If you are interested in appealing this automatic suspension, you should consult with a lawyer right away. If the Interlock detects less than a certain amount of alcohol in the driver’s breath, the vehicle will start. For a first-time offender, it costs approximately $2,000 to participate in the Interlock Program for the remaining nine months of their suspension. The criminal attorneys and legal team at Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey has a wide range of expertise when it comes to impaired driving offences and drinking and driving cases.
Do not use our website to provide us with any details about your case or any other information that you wish to remain private or confidential.
This web site provides general information only since the facts and circumstances of your case are unique. Since your new boss has stepped into her position, work days are daunting, and you can use all of the relaxation and rest you need: Drinks and sleep. In this example, a person’s blood would contain an alcohol level of one-tenth of a percent. This is why a person dealing with alcohol abuse needs opportunity for rehabilitation and recovery.
A conviction is also likely to result in large increases in auto insurance premiums for several years. Although the Crown Prosecutor does not always seek jail for a second or third conviction, the rule of thumb in Alberta is that the prosecutor will ask the judge to impose the mandatory jail penalties if a person is convicted of two offences within five years, or three offences within ten years. If you are charged with both impaired driving and refusing a breath sample, there is the possibility you will receive separate penalties for both offences, however. It is enough that a judge is convinced that your ability to drive was at least slightly impaired because you had consumed alcohol or a drug. It is also possible to apply to the court to have the breath sample evidence excluded from the trial because the samples were taken in a way that violated your constitutional rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is a relatively low level of proof, far lower than proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you were impaired. The accused must also be motivated to take treatment, and there must be a reasonable chance the accused will be able to overcome their addictions issues. If a person is charged with an impaired driving offence stemming from an incident where someone has been hurt or has died it is essential that they seek legal advice immediately to help protect their rights.
These overlapping federal and provincial rules are one of the reasons impaired driving law can be so confusing. There is a strict limitation period for appealing the administrative suspension, and the suspension starts immediately after the 21 days have expired – whether you appeal the suspension or not. The officer can also seize the novice driver’s licence if they fail or refuse to provide a breath sample, without a reasonable excuse. The costs can be higher for individuals who have a prior conviction for an impaired driving offence.
The circumstances of your case can be discussed with greater privacy when you are contacted by one of our lawyers.
We are certified intoxilyzer operators who can advise you on the accuracy of the breath test results, as well as whether those results can be used against you in court. The formula for computing the BAL is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In addition, if there was a traffic accident related to the impaired driving charge, a conviction could result in your insurer denying you coverage for any property damage or injuries that resulted from the accident. A second conviction for impaired driving will also usually result in a driving prohibition longer than the minimum one year.
The police do not need to be able to prove your blood alcohol level in order for you to be convicted of impaired driving – there is a separate offence for driving over the legal limit (see below). The legal limit established by Parliament represents a compromise between these two blood alcohol levels. There are a number of possible defences to a charge of drinking and driving over the legal limit, so you should consult with a lawyer to determine your chances of success. If you fail the roadside screening test you will almost always be arrested, but the results of a roadside screening test cannot be used to prove your blood alcohol level at a criminal trial. If you think you or someone you know might be a candidate for a curative discharge, you should contact a lawyer to discuss the possibility of applying for a discharge. As such, it is important to speak with a lawyer right away if you are interested in appealing the suspension. You are required to pay to have the Interlock device installed in your vehicle, and there are fees for a training course and periodic maintenance of the Interlock device. If you are accepted into the Ignition Interlock Program, comply with all of its rules, and are issued a special restricted driver’s licence, it is legal for you to drive a vehicle with an Interlock device installed.



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