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).

CHARGED WITH DUI BY DRUG?  CLICK


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. 


LEARN MORE ABOUT DUI? CLICK


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

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

SafeRoads v. P.S.P.

March 11, 2021

(Calgary, NAP-IRS).  PSP was issued immediate roadside sanctions by way of a notice of administrative penalty. Like so many cases where a person is charged or sanctioned by law enforcement (either through the criminal law or a regulatory scheme), the investigating agency stumbles into a situation, only to observe a partial event without context.  In this case, though PSP was not initially in care or control of the vehicle -- and had not intention to do so -- circumstances unfolded that caused her to be behind the wheel.  Specifically, PSP's partner slid on ice and the vehicle got lodged in a snow bank. To get the vehicle dislodged, PSP's partner was the stronger person and so he pushed while PSP steered the vehicle out of the snowbank. Unfortunately, just as the pair got unstuck and were about to change positions, police rolled up and investigated PSP for impaired driving. PSP had her notice of administrative penalty cancelled on grounds relating to the collection of the breath samples. Notwithstanding the cancellation, the SafeRoads IRS framework still exacted a punishment; for PSP's vehicle was impounded and incurred impound fees for 30 days.  Issued immediate roadside sanctions? Call a Calgary roadside sanctions lawyer for advice. David Chow offers a free telephone consultation. 

SafeRoads v. WRW

March 1, 2021

(Red Deer, SafeRoads/DUI). WRW was issued immediate roadside sanctions in circumstances where he was not inside the vehicle at the time the roadside investigation commenced, had consumed no alcohol prior to driving and in circumstances where the off-road ATV was inoperable.  Other than writing and issuing paperwork that resulted in a vehicle tow and licence suspension, almost no meaningful investigation was conducted. This is an example of case where a person was sanctioned at the discretion of police and had his employment put in serious jeopardy in circumstances where a reasonable investigation may have resulted in a different course of action. Luckily, the SafeRoads adjudicator understood WRW's argument and cancelled the notice of administrative penalty (NAP). There are several Alberta criminal lawyers experienced in handling roadside sanctions. If you are looking for an immediate roadside sanctions lawyer in Alberta, call 403.452.8018 for a free initial consultation. David Chow is a Calgary based criminal defence lawyer who handles cases throughout the entire province. #RoadsideSanctionsLawyer

R. v. Y.J.Y.

February 8, 2021

(Calgary, P.C. - DUI/Over 80). Impaired driving and its related offences (such as at/over 80 and refusing to blow) often impacts ordinary people whose daily lives definitely do not fit the definition of "criminal". In December 2020 the Alberta Government enacted administrative impaired driving penalties that permit our justice system to penalize potential impaired drivers without criminal prosecution. The upside is that the motorist is not at risk of criminal sanction; the downside is that the Government has enacted legislation that shortcuts many principles of basic adjudicative fairness. Additionally, at the time of writing this post, it appears that SafeRoads adjudicators are inclined to blanket ignore the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms -- something judges are less likely to do in criminal prosecutions.  YJY had a number of very solid defences, including right to counsel and waiver of the right to counsel -- a pair of issues that apparently would receive no consideration in a SafeRoads adjudication. The point is, while SafeRoads eliminates criminal jeopardy, the exchange is that it appears to guarantee other jeopardy.  As a result of Charter issues, YJY's charges were withdrawn -- there was no criminal record.   Need a Calgary impaired driving lawyer or a roadside sanctions lawyer?  Call for a free telephone consultation. David Chow has successfully defended many immediate roadside sanctions cases.