Common Myths About DUI Charges And Defence In Alberta

December 8, 2023


Understanding the intricacies of DUI charges and defence is paramount in Alberta, where strict laws govern impaired driving. When faced with the daunting prospect of defending against DUI charges, enlisting the services of an experienced DUI lawyer in Edmonton can make all the difference.

In this blog post, we will debunk some of the common myths surrounding DUI charges and explore Alberta’s key elements of defence strategies. Whether you’re a concerned citizen or seeking legal counsel, it’s crucial to dispel misconceptions and know your rights regarding DUI charges in this province.

Myth #1: You Can Only Be Charged With DUI If Your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Is Over 0.08%

This is not true. In Alberta, you can be charged with DUI if your BAC is over 0.08%. Still, you can also be charged with impaired driving if your ability to operate a motor vehicle is affected by alcohol or drugs, regardless of your BAC level.

This means that even if you have a BAC below 0.08%, you can still be arrested and prosecuted for DUI if the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe you are impaired by alcohol or drugs.

For example, if you show signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, poor coordination, or erratic driving, you can be charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit.

Myth #2: You Can Avoid A DUI Charge By Refusing To Provide A Breath Or Blood Sample

This is not true. In Alberta, you are legally obligated to comply with a lawful demand from a police officer to provide a breath or blood sample for testing. If you refuse to do so, you can be charged with refusal to comply, which carries the same penalties as a DUI charge.

Moreover, refusing to provide a sample can also be used as evidence of your guilt in court, as it can indicate that you were trying to hide your impairment. Therefore, refusing to provide a sample is not a smart way to avoid a DUI charge; it can worsen your situation. In this case, contact your DUI lawyer in Edmonton for a strategic defence against DUI charges.

Myth #3: You Can Lower Your BAC By Drinking Coffee, Eating Food, Or Waiting For Some Time

This is not true. The only way to lower your BAC is to stop drinking alcohol and let your body metabolize it over time. Drinking coffee, eating food, or waiting for some time may make you feel more alert or sober, but they do not affect your BAC level.

Your BAC may continue to rise for some time after your last drink, depending on how much and how fast you drank. Therefore, these methods are unreliable ways to avoid a DUI charge; they can give you a false sense of security and lead you to drive when you are still impaired.

Myth #4: You Can Beat A Breathalyzer Test By Using Mouthwash, Chewing Gum, Or Other Tricks

This is not true. Breathalyzer tests are designed to measure the amount of alcohol in your breath, which reflects the amount of alcohol in your blood. Using mouthwash, chewing gum, or other tricks may mask the smell of alcohol on your breath, but they do not affect your BAC level.

Some products, such as mouthwash, may contain alcohol and increase your BAC level. Therefore, these tricks are ineffective in beating a breathalyzer test; they can worsen your test results.

Myth #5: You Don’t Need A DUI Lawyer If You Are Charged With DUI

This is not true. If you are charged with DUI, you need a DUI lawyer in Edmonton to protect your rights and interests. A DUI charge is a serious criminal offence that can result in harsh penalties such as fines, jail time, licence suspension, ignition interlock device installation, mandatory education or treatment programs, and a criminal record.

An experienced DUI lawyer in Edmonton can help you understand the nature and consequences of the charge, explore possible defences and options, negotiate with the prosecutor for a favourable outcome, represent you in court, and advocate for your best interests.

Also Read: Making The Right Legal Choice: Public Defender Vs. Criminal Defence Lawyer

A DUI lawyer in Edmonton can also help you challenge the validity and reliability of the evidence against you, such as the breath or blood test results, the police officer’s observations and statements, or the roadside tests. A lawyer can also help you apply for a restricted licence or an exemption from the ignition interlock device program if you are eligible.

About Daryl Royer

Daryl Royer is an experienced criminal defence lawyer based in Edmonton, Alberta. He obtained his law degree from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2001 and has been dedicated to criminal defence law ever since. With a career spanning over two decades, Mr. Royer has successfully represented clients in a wide range of cases, from murder and impaired driving to fraud and theft, at all levels of court.

Need an experienced DUI lawyer in Edmonton? Contact Daryl now.

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