Third Impaired Driving Offence in Alberta

The Criminal Code outlines strict penalties for impaired driving offences. If this is your third DUI offence, you are facing serious penalties that will have dramatic and lasting effects on your life. Third-time offences carry the heaviest penalties under Alberta’s impaired driving laws and should not be taken lightly. If you are facing a third impaired driving conviction, it is imperative that you hire an experienced DUI lawyer to defend your case.

Impaired driving charges typically involve drivers found to have a blood alcohol content that exceeds the legal limit of 0.08. However, an officer may lay DUI charges if they suspect that a substance, chemical, or condition is impairing an individual’s ability to drive. In Alberta, arrests associated with impairment caused by illegal or prescription drugs are becoming increasingly common; DUI charges are not limited to alcohol consumption.

Blood Alcohol Content between .05 and .08 On a Third Offence

If you have been charged with a third offence for having a BAC between .05 and .08, you may face the following penalties:

Automatic 30-day license suspension
7-day vehicle seizure
A mandatory “Impact” course

Penalties for Having a Blood Alcohol Content Over .08 on a Third Offence

The charges associated with a third offence, where the driver is found to have a BAC that exceeds the legal limit of .08, are extremely serious. If you have been charged with a third DUI while having a BAC over .08, you are facing the following penalties:

- Minimum 5-year license suspension
- Minimum 120-day jail sentence
- Minimum 1-year mandatory ignition interlock
- A permanent criminal record
- Termination of employment
- Insurance increases
- Mandatory treatment programs and DUI classes
- Prohibition from working or caring for children

If convicted in court, a driver with two prior DUI convictions will likely face significant jail-time. The length of a jail sentence depends on the number of prior convictions, frequency of offences, and whether or not the driver has an existing criminal record. If the courts review your case and determine that you are a repeat offender, you could face a province-wide license suspension of five years or more. Depending on your previous record, they may choose to suspend your license indefinitely or until the Registrar no longer considers you to be a risk.

If you are facing a third DUI conviction, it is imperative that you hire an experienced impaired driving lawyer to help defend your case and mitigate the criminal sentence.

Refusing A Breathalyzer Test

If you have been pulled over for suspected drunk driving, the officer will likely demand that you submit to a breathalyzer test. Refusing to provide a breath sample results in an automatic impaired driving charge, and carries the same penalties as being charged with having a BAC over .08.

Approaching a DUI Defense

If you have been charged with an impaired driving offence, you will need an experienced lawyer to defend your case in court. Your lawyer will review your case, and consider the following approaches:

- Questioning the legality of the traffic stop
- Challenging the methods and procedures used for determining sobriety
- Cross-examining witness testimony, and questioning police procedures
- When appropriate, employing toxicologists to provide expert-testimony to refute evidence brought forth by the Crown prosecutor(s)
- Identifying challenges to existing laws, codes, statutes and legislations

Contact Our DUI Defence Lawyers in Fort McMurray

If you have been charged with impaired driving, and this is your third offence, you are facing serious criminal penalties. A third drunk driving conviction can significantly derail your life, and will have a lasting impact on your future. The DUI defence lawyers at Gunn Law Group can help you navigate the complexities of a criminal trial, and will fight to reduce the charges that you are facing. We are committed to aggressively defending your case, and helping you get back on track.