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alberta license suspension program

The Alberta Government enacted pre-punishment legislation in the form of the Alberta Administrative Driving Suspension (ALS). This program ignores the presumption of innocence and may even have pre-punished the innocent. Until 2012, the ALS program was less punitive, but in 2012 the Redford Government repealed the previous program and replaced it with a more punitive program clearly designed to act as a disincentive to fully defending the case. 

In a parallel maneuver, the Minister of Justice effectively diminished the discretionary role of the Crown to deal with borderline cases of impaired driving by ordering that line-Crowns could not longer resolve DUI charges with plea bargains under the Traffic Safety Act (TSA). 

Thankfully, on May 18th, 2017 the majority of the Alberta Court of Appeal struck down this draconian pre-punishment legislation. But there was no celebration; for the Alberta Court of Appeal gave the Government a one-year grace period to change the ALS. Despite being fully aware that they were levelling unconstitutional legislation against their own citizens, the Government continued to suspend driver's pursuant to invalid law. Neither the police nor the Crown were deterred.  In the view of this Alberta defence lawyer, the action demonstrated a clear disregard (and arguably distain) for Charter rights.

Unfortunately, the NDP Government replaced one piece of unconstitutional legislation with another. The new administrative driving suspension program will see presumptively innocent Albertans suspended for 90 days, after which, they can install an Interlock Device in their vehicle, which must remain until the conclusion of their criminal case. Worse, if no appeal of the suspension is filed within 30 days, the suspension persists for one-year, even if the accused successfully defends the charge. 


don't accept a criminal record


If you can, fight against the stigma of a criminal record. At the very least, do your due diligence by exploring your options.  An experienced impaired driving lawyer might be able to help. David Chow is a Calgary DUI lawyer who has defended cases throughout the province. Call for a free telephone consultation.