Contact DUI Lawyer David Chow for a Free Consultation

impaired driving & DUI lawyer | Calgary

a calgary dui lawyer for over 15 years


FREE CONSULTATION: (403) 452-8018

calgary impaired driving lawyer  

David Chow has been defending DUI cases in Calgary since before he was called to the criminal bar in 2003.  He appeared as a law student to defend his first client at the Provincial Court of Alberta in 1999. Since then he has prosecuted impaired drivers and spent nearly 15 years as a Calgary impaired driving lawyer.  David understands how to defend a DUI case; he is a Calgary impaired driving lawyer of choice.

How does the Crown prove impaired driving?

To prove "impaired driving" the Crown must demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused's ability to operate (or have care or control) of a a "conveyance" (usually a motor vehicle) is impaired by alcohol to any degree by slight to great. This means that even "slight impairment of the ability to drive" is enough to sustain conviction. It is important to remember, however, that the accused's impairment is not to do brain surgery (see R. v. Andrews); rather, it is impairment of the ability to drive. So though an accused may demonstrate minor indicia of impairment, that does not necessarily equate into proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the ability to drive.

Along with impaired driving, there are connected offences such as "operating a motor vehicle with blood-alcohol "at" or "over" the legal limit. In Canada, the legal limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (80mg%).  Another connected offence is refusing to provide a breath sample.  Where a person cannot be double punished for being convicted of both impaired driving and "at/over 80",  an accused can be punished for impaired driving and punished again for refusing to blow. There are different legal considerations for breath samples at roadside than breath samples obtained by way of a formal breath demand.  

It is common to think about impaired driving as an alcohol related offence. Alcohol, however, is not the only cause of impaired driving. The police also investigate impairment by drug(s).

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Hire a Lawyer who understands your legal situation

As a Calgary DUI lawyer, I understand that most criminal driving offences involve ordinary citizens whose actions do not fit into the kind of morally blameworthy conduct typical of other crimes.  Many people honestly think they were not impaired to drive.  Many believe they were not operating a motor vehicle with blood-alcohol exceeding the legal limit.  This belief may even be true.  The best advice immediately after being charged with a DUI offence is to understand your legal predicament and explore your options.

David Chow understands that your situation may appear bleak.  After all, you are likely an ordinary person, who has never had his/her fingers inked and rolled for fingerprints. You have have probably never been accused of a crime or been to a criminal court. As a result of the Alberta Administrative License Suspension program (ALS), you can no longer legally operate a motor vehicle.  


Learn about your DUI / DWI Charge

True or not, the reality is, the Government has established a legal model designed to enhance the likelihood of conviction and to punish regardless of whether you successfully defend the case. This is so because in Alberta, the State administratively suspends your driving privileges as soon as you are charged with an impaired driving offence (ALS). 

DUI and Impaired driving law can be confusing.  Many ordinary people have no idea that police have broad and overarching traffic detention power. They have no idea that their right to counsel is suspended during the initial stages of an investigative inquiry.   For example, offences such as refusing to blow carry specific legal confusion.  Given the generally accepted Charter right that all persons have a right to counsel upon “detention” or “arrest”, many accused logically think they had a right to a lawyer before providing potentially incriminating evidence at roadside.  Notwithstanding the reasonableness of this belief (because the Charter says so) the common law confuses, rather than clarifies.   Once marijuana legalization occurs, confusion about the operation of a motor vehicle after having consumed cannabis will certainly arise. 


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Making it Easier to convict

Parliament, with the assistance of the Courts has chosen to make policing and prosecuting impaired driving (and its related offences) easier.  For example, police are now authorized to conduct mandatory roadside testing for anybody behind the wheel. This testing can be conducted without even a scintilla of information to support a belief that the motorist has consumed alcohol.

Read: A Calgary Criminal Lawyer's musings on Mandatory Roadside Sobriety Testing 

Making things easier, however, does not necessarily make the law fair, reasonable or right. 


Call Calgary dui lawyer David Chow for a Free Consultation

As a former Crown prosecutor and impaired driving lawyer with over a decade of experience defending impaired cases, David Chow understands the complex dynamics underlying any impaired driving allegation.  He appreciates that you are not only fighting a difficult case for which conviction might cost your job, home, future prospects and family, but that you are also battling the weight of a callous legal system that ensures punishment before conviction. 

David Chow is  a DUI lawyer in Calgary who routinely secures verdicts of not guilty for persons charged with impaired driving, dangerous driving, over 80, refusing to blow and other criminal driving offences (including those causing death).  David is acutely aware of the importance of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the rule of law, the rules of evidence and the presumption of innocence.  He is a senior Calgary defence lawyer, who regularly attends various jurisdictions throughout Alberta, including Calgary, all Calgary circuit points (such as Cochrane, Canmore and Airdrie), Lethbridge, Cochrane, Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray and Red Deer.


PROVEN HISTORY of defending dui in calgary

David Chow has successfully defended hundreds of impaired driving cases.  For an experienced Calgary DUI lawyer, call 403.452.8018 for a free consultation. 

Recent Case Results

R. v. C.D.H.

October 7, 2019

(Calgary, P.C.). CDH was charged with failing to appear in Calgary.  In this case, a warrant issued for the arrest of the accused, but remained unexecuted for over a decade.  The accused filed a Charter Notice alleging unreasonable delay pursuant to section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The basis of the Charter defence flowed from the Supreme Court of Canada decisions of R. v. MacIntosh and R. v. Askov, where the Court held that it is the duty of the State to bring the accused to trial and an accused has no legal duty to bring him or herself to trial.  CDH successfully defended his trial.  David Chow is a full service Calgary criminal lawyer who practices throughout the Province of Alberta. Please feel free to peruse this website to learn about David Chow, the cases he defends and his legal philosophy. If you are searching to hire a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary, it is your responsibility to be duly diligent. David offers a free initial telephone consultation, a reasonable initial retainer and 20 years of experience litigating cases in the Provincial Court of Alberta. 

R. v. H.C.

October 4, 2019

(Calgary, P.C.).  HC was charged with impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with blood-alcohol exceeding the legal limit in 2008. The case went to warrant in 2008.  Though the police knew where to find the accused, they never executed the warrant. The case remained at warrant status for about 11 years until the accused travelled back to the Province of Alberta for the sole purpose of having the warrant executed. At trial, the accused had many defences, including right to counsel issues and of course, trial delay issue for the 11 year period in which the warrant remained un-executed.  Prosecuting this case, in these circumstances, would have been a Herculean task for the crown. On the day of trial, after Charter Notice was filed, the prosecution was stayed.   As an experienced Calgary impaired driving lawyer, David Chow understands that there are many ways to defend a case.  For a free consultation with a Calgary DUI lawyer, call 403.452.8018 for a free telephone consultation. Remember, impaired driving and its related offences carry minimum punishments, including a criminal record. Why make it easy for the Government to label you with a criminal record?  With that in mind, there is much wisdom in consulting with an impaired driving lawyer in Calgary or in the jurisdiction where you have been charged. David Chow is not only a Calgary defence lawyer, he is an Alberta criminal lawyer who appears throughout the Province, including: Lethbridge, Cochrane, Canmore, Brooks, Airdrie and Okotoks.

R. v. E.M.A.

September 19, 2019

(Rocky Mountain House, P.C.). There are many reasons for setting a case for trial. For impaired driving and its related offences such as "at 80" and refusing or failing to blow, there are reasons to force the Crown to prove its case. Impaired driving, "at 80" and refusing/failing to blow carry minimum punishments if convicted.  Those punishments include a fine, a mandatory driving prohibition (12 months) and a criminal record. The seriousness of the allegation makes no difference; for even if the accused's conduct constitutes a minor or even more trivial infraction of the criminal law, he or she will be stigmatized with a criminal record. Other consequences may also flow from the mere charge. These include an administrative suspension, jeopardy to employment, economic and family stress or hardship.  AME successfully defended the allegations of impaired driving, blowing over the legal limit and disqualified driving on the day of trial.  Not only was the prosecution hampered by Constitutional difficulties, they had evidentiary problems. If you have been charged with impaired driving in Rocky Mountain House, Calgary or anywhere in Alberta, British Columbia or Saskatchewan call a qualified Alberta DUI lawyer for a free consultation. David Chow has been defending impaired driving, over/at 80 and refusing to blow cases since 1999. He has focussed much of his legal career defending impaired driving/DUI cases. David Chow is a Calgary impaired driving lawyer of choice. Call 403.452.8018 to consult with a qualified Calgary DUI lawyer. 

R. v. C.J.J.

July 15, 2019

(Whitecourt, P.C.). This was an interesting trial with several Constitutional issues at play. CJJ was charged with failing to provide a breath sample into an Approved Screening Device (ASD).  The case was very interesting because it appeared from reviewing disclosure that the investigating officer had reasonable and probable grounds to arrest her for a variety of other offences, thus triggering an immediate right to counsel.  The irony in this case was that CJJ was very lucky that she was undercharged (very different from the usual over-charging in many jurisdictions).  As a result, David Chow -- CJJ's Calgary impaired driving lawyer -- was able to advance a very credible defence that since she was owed her section 10(b) rights immediately upon detention for other offences that the officer believed occurred, her failure on the ASD should be excluded from evidence.  After cross-examination at trial, the Crown -- acting as a true Minister of Justice -- invited the Court to acquit the accused.  CJJ was found "not guilty". David Chow is a full service Calgary criminal lawyer who acts for clients throughout the Province of Alberta. If you need a proven Alberta defence lawyer, call 403.452.8018.