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.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.

R. v. J.D.K.

July 4, 2019

(Calgary, P.C.). JDK's case is another example where the Crown was prepared to appropriately exercise its discretion in the public interests.  Many are not aware that in any prosecution, the Crown must answer two questions: (1) reasonable prospect of conviction and (2) public interest. Reasonable prospect of conviction asks whether the evidence is notionally sufficient to support a verdict of guilty. Public interest questions whether it is in society's interest to prosecute at all.  JDK was charged with blowing at the legal limit; meaning that his BAC was "at 80".  JDK was cooperative with the police and had no prior issues.  He displayed no other indicia of impairment or bad driving. JDK suffered employed consequences outside of the criminal justice system.  David Chow pleaded with the Crown on JDK's behalf to stay the case.  Acting in the public interest, the Crown ultimately exercised its discretion favourably -- something that often happens in Calgary.  If you have been charged with a DUI, there are impaired driving lawyers in Calgary and throughout Alberta who can help. Sometimes we can bring about favourable outcomes without having a costly trial.  Call David Chow for a free DUI consultation at 403.452.8018.

R. v. M.J.

April 3, 2019

(Didsbury, P.C.). M.J. was charged with operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol exceeding the legal limit and impaired driving. The accused was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in injury. At the start of his trial in 2018 Calgary DUI lawyer, David Chow, filed a Charter Notice asserting various breaches of the accused’s Charter protected interests, including unreasonable search and seizure due to a lack of reasonable and probable grounds to seize blood samples.  The trial judge agreed, holding that the blood seizure was based on suspicion only. The judge further determined that the police did not follow the strict requirements of section 487 of the Criminal Code of Canada concerning tele-warrant procedure. As a result, the evidence was excluded pursuant to section 24(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Whether you are guilty or not guilty, call Calgary defence lawyer, David Chow for a free consultation.  David Chow may be able to find a way to keep you from getting a criminal record.  David Chow is a Didsbury DUI lawyer. David defends cases throughout the province of Alberta.  He is not only a Calgary criminal driving lawyer, he defends cases throughout Alberta, including Brooks, Airdrie, Cochrane and Lethbridge.

 

R. v. D.L.

March 26, 2019

(Canmore, P.C.). A judicial stay of proceedings was granted in the case of D.L.  In this case, the accused was charged with refusing to supply a breath sample at roadside. The defence ran multiple defences, including reasonable excuse, mens rea and Charter issues. The case was judicially stayed due to the unlawful arrest of the accused.  David Chow is a Calgary DUI lawyer, who represents clients charged with impaired driving throughout Alberta, including Cochrane and Canmore.  For a free consultation with a Cochrane impaired driving lawyer, call 403.452.8018.