Our Location
Suite 204, 10209 - 97 Street Edmonton, Alberta
Call Us

Impaired Driving Law

Impaired driving law, which includes numerous related offences such as drive over 80 mg., refuse roadside sample, refuse Intoxilyzer sample, drive impaired or over 80 causing death or bodily harm, is a fast-changing and complex area of law. There are frequent amendments to the Criminal Code as well as the provincial traffic safety act, which changes your jeopardy.

Parliament re-wrote the impaired driving laws effective December 18, 2019. There are many changes including the Mandatory Alcohol Screening where a police officer can demand a roadside breath sample to test for alcohol even without proper suspicion of impaired operation. Some of these laws are being challenged across the country and also there are amended provisions which are not clear leaving a lot of room for arguments on the proper interpretation to be given to the amendments. The Provincial laws in respect to driver license suspension have also been amended. There are provisions making Provincial suspension of driving privileges automatic even if you beat your Criminal Code charges unless you appeal your driving suspension to the Alberta Transport Safety Board within 30 days of being charged.

It is important to have an experienced Impaired Driving lawyer review your case to help you determine whether you are better off contesting your charges or arranging for an early guilty plea.

Law Courts Edmonton

Contesting an Impaired Charge

If your chances of successfully contesting your impaired driving charges are very low, it may be beneficial to have experienced counsel negotiate a very early plea with a minimum suspension which would start on the day of your guilty plea.

Impaired driving law is very complex and there are many potential defences that most drivers do not realize. Even if you are convinced that your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol, and even if you blew a sample into an Intoxilyzer and you are well over .08, there are still numerous defences potentially available for you to have the charges dismissed. Often, experience counsel will file a notice of application under various sections of the Charter of Rights, typically sections 7, 8, 9, 10(a), 10(b) and 12 and request that the presiding judge exclude the evidence, such as your breath sample readings, which could result in a guilty verdict. It is entirely possible for example, if you are driving while your blood alcohol level was over 08, but due to errors made by the police in explaining your rights to you to contact a lawyer, on an application by your lawyer the court may make a ruling excluding the readings given by the breath machine.

For most people, it is important to contest impaired driving charges, even if the odds are not viewed as being high to have the charges dismissed. In addition to a minimum one year prohibition from driving, a conviction for impaired driving or related charges, can result for example in a minimum 30 day jail sentence if you are unfortunate enough to be convicted again in the future for a similar charge.

Wentworth Building
Suite 204, 10209 – 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0L6

24 Hours: 780-999-8001
Fax: 780-757-2220

Email: [email protected]


Business Hours

Monday – 9am-5pm
Tuesday – 9am-5pm
Wednesday – 9am-5pm
Thursday – 9am-5pm
Friday – 9am-5pm
Saturday – Closed
Sunday – Closed
Holidays – Closed

About Chartrand Law Office

Chartrand Law Office is an
Edmonton-based law firm with a special interest in criminal defence
and justice.


We accept cases in the Western provinces for serious criminal cases where a positive result is desired.