DUI Lawyers in Edmonton and Alberta

Please note you only have 7 days from the time you were issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty or Seizure Notice to file an appeal or a review. If you have missed this deadline, there may be a way to file and request a late review/appeal. Contact us immediately to discuss your options.

Criminal Defence Lawyers EdmontonIn Canada, impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal injury and death.

As of December 1, 2020, the Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) took effect to provide serious and immediate consequences for all impaired drivers.

You may, however, still receive a criminal DUI charge in addition to the IRS if:

  • You have prior DUI convictions;
  • Someone was injured as a result of the DUI; or
  • There were children in the vehicle at the time of the DUI.

If you’ve been stopped for impaired driving, it is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel from a lawyer who specializes in impaired driving cases.

This is particularly true if this is your second or subsequent offence, or if any aggravating circumstances were present, such as having a minor in the car, having an excessively high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or blood drug concentration (BDC), or if the offence resulted in an injury accident.

At Chadi & Company, our lawyers have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with impaired driving in Edmonton and across Alberta for over 30 years.

Impaired driving laws are complex and constantly evolving. If you have been cited with impaired driving, contact Chadi & Company today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

Immediate Roadside Sanctions Explained

If you are stopped for impaired driving, you may receive one of five IRS licence suspensions. Depending on which type of suspension you receive, your driving privileges will be impacted differently. The five types of suspensions are as follows:

  • IRS 24-hour

IRS 24-hour sanction occurs when an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. 24-hour suspension is immediate.

  • IRS ZERO Novice

IRS ZERO Novice sanction occurs when the impaired driver holds a Class 7 learner’s license or a Class 5 GDL. These drivers are required to have a zero BAC or BDC level when driving. Penalties include:

  • 30-day suspension begins immediately
  • A seven-day vehicle seizure
  • A $200 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%
  • IRS ZERO Commercial

IRS ZERO Commercial sanction occurs when the impaired driver is operating a commercial vehicle. Drivers operating a commercial vehicle must have a zero BAC or BDC level when driving. Penalties include:

  • First Occurrence (in a 10-year period)
    • An immediate three-day suspension
    • A $300 fine plus a victim surcharge of 20%
  • Second Occurrence (in a 10-year period)
    • An immediate 15-day driver’s licence suspension
    • A $600 fine plus a victim surcharge of 20%
  • Third and Subsequent Occurrence (in a 10-year period)
    • An immediate 30-day driver’s licence suspension
    • A $1,200 fine plus a victim surcharge of 20%
  • IRS WARN Program

IRS Warn program occurs when an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a driver is impaired, but with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between 0.05 and 0.079. This amount is less than the required amount under Canada’s Criminal Code but it can still result in sanctions. Penalties include:

  • First Occurrence:
    • An immediate three-day driver’s licence suspension
    • A 3-day vehicle seizure
    • A $300 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%
  • Second Occurrence:
    • An immediate 15-day driver’s licence suspension
    • A 7-day vehicle seizure
    • A $600 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%
    • A remedial education through the Crossroads course
  • Third (and Subsequent) Occurrence:
    • An immediate 30-day driver’s licence suspension
    • A 7-day vehicle seizure
    • A $1,200 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%
    • A remedial education through the IMPACT Program
  • IRS FAIL Program

IRS FAIL program sanction occurs when an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a driver:

  • is impaired to any degree by alcohol and/or drugs;
  • has a blood level exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood within two hours of operating a vehicle;
  • has a blood drug concentration in excess of legal limits within two hours of operating a vehicle; or
  • has a combined BAC and BDC level in excess of legal limits within two hours of operating a vehicle.

Sanctions for the IRS FAIL program include:

First Occurrence
  • 2-stage, fixed-term suspension including:
    • 90 days driving suspension, and
    • further 12-month driver’s licence suspension with an interlock device; or
    • if the driver chooses not to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program, the driver will remain suspended and cannot legally drive.
  • Completion of the Planning Ahead course
  • 30-day vehicle seizure
  • $1,000 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%
Second Occurrence
  • 2-stage, fixed-term suspension including:
    • 90 days driving suspension, and
    • further 36-month driver’s licence suspension with an interlock device; or
    • if the driver chooses not to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program, the driver will remain suspended and cannot legally drive.
  • Completion of the IMPACT course
  • 30-day vehicle seizure
  • $2,000 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%
Third Occurrence
  • 2-stage, fixed-term suspension including:
    • 90 days driving suspension, and
    • further lifetime driver’s licence suspension with an interlock device; or
    • if the driver chooses not to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program, the driver will remain suspended and cannot legally drive.
  • Driver’s licence reinstatement and removal of the interlock requirement after 10 years
  • 30-day vehicle seizure
  • $2,000 fine plus victim fine surcharge of 20%

Please note, according to the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act, repeat offenders, impaired drivers who cause bodily harm or death, and other more serious cases will still receive criminal charges in addition to the other penalties.

Been charged with Impaired Driving in Alberta?

If you’ve been arrested for impaired driving involving serious property damage, bodily harm, or death, it is critical to speak with an experienced Edmonton DUI lawyer immediately. Call us at (780) 429-2300 or request a free consultation today.

Been Charged with a DUI in Alberta?

If you’ve been stopped on suspicion of impaired driving and this is not your first offence, or other aggravating factors were present, you may be looking at criminal charges.

Following an arrest for driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, you could be facing hefty fines, jail time, the suspension of your license, and a criminal record.

You don’t have to be excessively drunk to be arrested and criminally charged; if someone was injured or there was a child in the car with you at the time, you may be facing serious charges.

Is Impaired Driving a Crime?

Impaired driving is no longer an automatic criminal offence in Alberta, but penalties can still be severe. Your licence may be suspended for an extended period, and you may have to pay substantial fees and you participate in educational programs and the ignition interlock program.

Illegal drugs, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and cannabis can also impair your ability to drive, and penalties for driving while impaired by any of these substances are just as severe.

Know Your Rights

At the time of the stop, do your best to remain calm, and always be respectful toward law enforcement officers. You may be asked to submit to field sobriety and/or breath tests.

Police must have a valid reason for stopping you in the first place, such as a sobriety checkpoint, or because you were driving erratically, or driving without headlights at night.

Without probable cause for stopping your vehicle, police may have violated your legal rights, and any associated penalties may be withdrawn.

Contact Chadi & Company Today

If you have been charged with DUI or cited for impaired driving, the skilled legal team at Chadi & Company can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with impaired driving and other offences for over three decades.

Our experienced, knowledgeable legal team has an impressive track record of getting our clients’ charges reduced, or withdrawn entirely.

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