Contact DUI Lawyer David Chow for a Free Consultation

calgary dui lawyer

"I have been litigating cases in court since before I was called to the bar. The first client I ever defended was an impaired driving client. Since 1999 I have successfully defended several hundreds of impaired driving cases in Calgary, throughout Alberta and elsewhere".

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.  This was a case heard by Judge Fradsham.

As a former Crown Prosecutor from 2003-2005, David prosecuted nearly a hundred impaired driving cases. Since joining the criminal defence bar in 2005, much of David Chow's  criminal law practice has been focussed on defending DUI cases. 

the best dui lawyers are specialists

"Not every criminal defence lawyer truly understands how to defend a DUI case. This is because impaired driving prosecutions are often quite technical in nature and commonly involve defences under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms". I understand how to defend against an impaired driving prosecution".

David Chow understands that properly defending impaired driving and its related prosecutions (such as at/over 80 and refusing to blow) requires a truly dedicated impaired driving lawyer -- one who has committed him or herself to a niche practice. The reason for this is that there are often technical defences relating to both the collection and interpretation of evidence. Also, perhaps more than any crime (other than drug prosecutions), impaired driving triggers applications under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Alberta Justice has also created specialized impaired driving units, tasked with the sole job of prosecuting impaired driving offences. To meet the challenge, an accused charged with impaired driving needs a similarly focussed lawyer.  

David Chow is a Calgary DUI lawyer of choice; he offers a free consultation. 

immediate roadside sanctions

As an experienced impaired driving lawyer in Calgary, David Chow also understands how to effectively resist administrative penalties imposed on suspected impaired drivers through programs such as SafeRoads Alberta.  On December 1st, 2020 the Alberta Government changed traffic safety law by introducing new drinking and driving enforcement measures within the recently enacted Provincial Administrative Penalties Act, 2020 (“PAPA 2020”).  

If you have had your vehicle seized and license administratively suspended after December 1st, 2020, call immediately for a free consultation.  Though it will likely be difficult and notwithstanding that this law is weighted against you, there may be a path to resisting the penalties.  

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 "conveyance" (usually a motor vehicle) was impaired by alcohol to any degree from 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).


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. 


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. 

Understanding DUI | Defending Impaired Driving | The DUI Charge | IRS | Impaired by Drug | Criminal Driving Offences


Recent Case Results

R. v. S.S.G.

November 10, 2021

(Calgary, P.C. - Impaired Driving/Over 80).  There are many Calgary criminal lawyers to choose from. David Chow is a Calgary criminal lawyer/Calgary DUI lawyer who is grateful for the opportunity to earn your business. SSG was charged with impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with blood-alcohol over the legal limit. Similar to many DUI investigations, the case began with a roadside sample, culminating in the arrest of the accused. SSG clearly exercised s. 10(b) of the Charter by requesting a reasonable opportunity to retain and instruction without delay. Prior to providing an evidentiary breath sample, SSG was in the process of trying to contact a lawyer. It was around 2AM and thus connecting with a lawyer was difficult. Notwithstanding SSG's legitimate, good faith efforts, the police interrupted SSG's attempt to connect with counsel, stating that sufficient time was afforded.  The police were aware that SSG was in the process of diligently calling a lawyer.  For the purpose of right to counsel, the accused must reasonably diligent in exercising the right. At trial, the breath evidence was excluded and SSG was acquitted due to a breach of s. 10(b) right to counsel.  David Chow routinely successfully litigates criminal cases on the basis of Charter breaches.  If you are looking for a Calgary defence lawyer who has actually run hundreds of trials, including complex cases involving guns, drugs and violence, call for a free consultation.

SafeRoads v. M.M.M.

August 27, 2021

(Grande Prairie - NAP/IRS/DUI).  MMM was investigated for an impaired driving situation in Grande Prairie, Alberta.  To facilitate the investigation the RCMP used an approved screening device to conduct initial alcohol screening.  As a result of the sample MMM was issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty (NAP)/Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS). MMM was fortunate not be further investigated for a criminal impaired driving offence. Under the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act there are specific rules with respect to issuing a NAP; to include a procedure whereby the recipient of the roadside sanctions has the option to participate in a roadside appeal. Additionally, whenever a person disputes his/her IRS the Director of SafeRoads Alberta is required to provide certain information as part of the adjudicative process. In this case, MMM successfully argued for the cancellation of the administrative penalty on grounds of missing information relevant to the adjudication. If you have been issued roadside sanctions, the penalty may not be a criminal record, but the consequences of the loss of licence are still severe. For a free consultation contact an experienced roadside sanctions lawyer. Since the introduction of the NAP process on December 1st, 2020, David Chow has litigated several dozen roadside sanctions cases. He is an experienced immediate roadside sanctions lawyer

R. v. O.M.O.

August 6, 2021

(Okotoks P.C. - Impaired Driving/Over 80).  OMO was charged with impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol at/over the limit. The traffic stop was made in High River, Alberta, where the accused was charged. The Court jurisdiction for High River is the Provincial Court of Alberta in Okotoks at 98 McRae Street.  The accused had defences under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and facing a minimum punishment, including a potentially life stigmatizing criminal record, the accused was not unlike so many others who needed to protect both his lack of criminal record and a job, forced into pleading not guilty and setting the case for trial. In support of the case, defence counsel filed a Charter Notice. As a result of the Charter Notice, the accused successfully defended the charges.  Charter Notice is required for any case where the accused is seeking Constitutional relief. David Chow is a Calgary based, Okotoks criminal lawyer who has successfully defended everything from petty property crimes, to driving offences causing death to homicide.  Call for a free telephone consultation. 

SafeRoads v. J.H.

July 12, 2021

(Calgary, P.C. - Impaired Driving/Immediate Roadside Sanctions).  JH was investigated for impaired operation of a motor vehicle. At the commencement of the investigation the police made a Mandatory Alcohol Screening Demand (MAS).  The power for police to make an MAS demand is legislated in the Criminal Code of Canada. A real problem with MAS demands is that police can make them without engaging in any meaningful investigation. JH made several attempts to provide the breath sample, but was an asthmatic and thus could produce sufficient air to trigger a reading on the approved screening device (ASD).  JH was sanctioned for failing to provide a breath sample.  JH video recorded much of the interaction. Notwithstanding that the police had in-car camera video and body camera footage, they declined to provide it to SafeRoads. It is noteworthy that in the experience of this Alberta Roadside Sanctions Lawyer, the police never provide the video; even in circumstances where the NAP recipient disputes the allegations. Most of the time, SafeRoads adjudicators side with the police, holding that they are not required to provide video/audio evidence. In this view of this Calgary defence lawyer, this is highly suspicious and unfair.  Fortunately, the adjudicator for JH cancelled the Roadside Sanctions. If you have been issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty (NAP) and required a roadside sanctions lawyer for a case anywhere in Alberta call 403.452.8018.