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Do You Need a Lawyer for a First Impaired Driving Offence?

DUI Lawyer in alberta

Many people underestimate the seriousness of an impaired driving case. Perhaps you have had friends or family members who faced charges of impaired driving—also commonly called driving under the influence (DUI)—or you equate this type of case with any other driving offence. However, reality tends to hit when you see the flashing lights in your rearview mirror and then you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

How serious is a first-time DUI anyway? You may know that multiple DUIs can result in increased consequences but for a first offence, many people wonder if they really need to call a defence lawyer or whether they can handle their case on their own. While you always have the right to provide your own defence, it is always preferable to get representation by an experienced defence lawyer—even for a first impaired driving charge.

Possible Penalties for a First-Time DUI

Some penalties can be imposed the moment you are arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. For example, if a breath test indicates that you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you can face the following immediate consequences:

  • Towing and impoundment of your vehicle for three days
  • Attendance at an educational class called “Planning Ahead”
  • Suspension of your driver’s licence until your case is resolved, including paying for reinstatement

Alberta also allows for an arrest and consequences if a breath test shows a BAC of between 0.05 and 0.08 percent; these consequences include a three-day licence suspension, towing, and impoundment of your vehicle for three days.

Then, if you are convicted, your licence may be suspended for up to one year, which can significantly impact your ability to get to and from work, school, or other important obligations. If you continue to drive and are caught doing so, you can face even more serious issues including extensive fines and jail time for driving while suspended.

While your licence suspension may be reduced to three months, this does require that you have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for one year for a first offence. This will allow you to drive provided your breath samples demonstrate you are alcohol-free. However, you will be responsible for the cost of installing the device, rental fees every month, and a fee to remove the device, not to mention the dramatic increase to your insurance rates. These costs add up.

In addition, it is important to avoid even a first impaired driving conviction whenever possible. If you are ever suspected of impaired driving again in the future and you already have a conviction, the consequences you face will automatically be more serious. This is one of many reasons why you should always have a DUI defence lawyer review your case.

Contact an Alberta DWI Lawyer for More Information

If you or a loved one has been arrested and you would like more information about Alberta Impaired Driving Defence (AIDD), please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Danusia Bourdon at 403-457-4415 today to speak with an impaired driving defence lawyer about your case.