(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 As a result of Charter issues, YJY's charges were withdrawn -- there was no criminal record.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.
ALBERTA ROADSIDE SANCTIONS
“Disputing a Notice of Administrative Penalty can be challenging. If you are looking to hire a roadside sanctions lawyer, call me for a free consultation. Even if you don't hire me, I might be able to help”.
7 DAYS TO FILE A NAP DISPUTE
Have you received a Notice of Administrative Penalty (NAP)? If you have, there is a very high likelihood that you are now subject to immediate roadside sanctions (IRS) pursuant to the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act and its concomitant regulations.
Did you know that pursuant to s. 7(1) of the Act you only have 7 DAYS to dispute the NAP? If you miss this deadline and wish to fight the sanctions, the reality is that you may be out of luck. After 7 days, SafeRoads Alberta will only grant a “late review” of immediate roadside sanctions if there are “exceptional circumstances” that resulted in late filing.
THE SAFE ROADS PORTAL
“To file your dispute, you will need the paperwork served on you by the police”.
Filing a NAP dispute requires you to access the SafeRoads Portal. To do so, you will need the Notice of Administrative Penalty/Immediate Roadside Sanction document for the purpose of inputting the required information. Specifically, you will need to input:
- Your last name.
- Your date of birth.
- The Contravention Number.
- The Occurrence time.
The “contravention number” is the 10 digit number on the upper right-side of the NAP beginning with “A” and ending with “O”. The “occurrence time” can be found near the top of your document, left of centre. If you input the wrong information or SafeRoads has committed a data entry error, the contravention will not be found and you will not be permitted access to the SafeRoads Portal.
Data Entry errors by law enforcement or SafeRoads administrators are not uncommon. Since you only have 7 days to file your NAP dispute, I encourage you to start early just in case you run into filing difficulties.
GROUNDS TO DISPUTE roadside sanctions
“Though it is difficult, there may be a legal path to having your Notice of Administrative Penalty cancelled”.
Successfully disputing a NAP is difficult to say the least. The evidentiary framework is heavily weighted in favour of the Government. There are, however, a variety of issues that may result in a notice of administrative penalty (NAP) being cancelled (or successfully defended).
If you are looking to hire a lawyer to fight your immediate roadside sanctions, call David Chow for a free telephone consultation. He is a Calgary based criminal lawyer who handles roadside sanctions cases throughout the province.
Recent Case Results
(Red Deer, IRS/Impaired Driving). Under the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act 2020 (PAPA 2020), JW was issued immediate roadside sanctions (IRS). There are many ways to defend a Notice of Administrative Penalty (NAP). One way is to show that the person who was issued IRS was not driving or did not have care or control at the relevant time. In this case, the situation was interesting because JW was occupying the driver's seat when the police arrived; however, evidence was adduced that the vehicle was (1) not running, (2) incapable of being set in motion and (3) only temporarily occupied for the purpose of gathering items from the vehicle's interior. The evidence was made stronger because a taxi was clearly present at scene when the police arrived. In this case, the adjudicator acted very fairly, cancelling the Notice of Administrative Penalty. The trouble with this case was the limited investigation conducted by the officer. Had the officer made relevant inquiries and not merely interpreted the behaviour as sinister, he would have learned details that may have resulted in the NAP not being issued at all. Sadly, JW's vehicle was impounded for 30 days. That was a family vehicle. Also, notwithstanding successfully applying to have the NAP cancelled, JW had to pay impound fees. If you have received immediate roadside sanctions, call an experienced Alberta roadside sanctions lawyer to help. David Chow has successfully defended many roadside sanctions cases. For a free consultation with an immediate roadside sanctions lawyer call 403.452.8018.
(Medicine Hat - Care or Control/Over 80). W.T. was charged with having care or control of a motor vehicle and over 80 in relation to a case that arose in the summer of 2020. WT's case is an example of one where the Prosecutor properly exercised his public interest duty by evaluating the case early and intervening early. Recognizing problems with the case and the low public interest in proceeding in the circumstances, the Crown withdrew the charges. Of course, WT had unfortunately been impacted by Alberta's administrative driving suspension program, which was exacerbated because he/she was a GDL driver. Regardless, WT did not get a criminal record and because of the Prosecutor, avoided the hardship of trial fees. David Chow -- WT's DUI lawyer -- connected with the crown very early on in the process to explain the issues. From a criminal law perspective, an important lesson from WT revolves around the benefit to the accused and public when counsel for the Crown and Defence are capable of having an honest conversation about a case early on. When this occurs, many cases can be resolved without expensive, time consuming and resource consuming litigation. Looking for a criminal lawyer in Alberta (or an Alberta roadside sanctions lawyer) who pursues all available avenues to defend a case? Call David Chow for a free telephone consultation. "I would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business".
(Grand Prairie - DUI/IRS). MD was issued immediate roadside sanctions (IRS) by way of a Notice of Administrative Penalty (NAP). On December 1st, 2020 Alberta enacted legislation cloaking police with discretion to either charge impaired driving/at/over 80/ refusal under the Criminal Code of Canada or to issue roadside sanctions. Roadside sanctions means that the motorist is subject to a $1000 fine, 90 day suspension, a 12 month interlock restriction and vehicle impoundment. Any information uploaded by police to the SafeRoads Portal is deemed by law to be "under oath". The evidentiary paradigm is designed in a manner that greatly benefits Alberta Transportation (the Government). David Chow is an Alberta Roadside Sanctions Lawyer. Several arguments were made in support of having MD's NAP cancelled and his driving privileges restored. The adjudicator exercised her overarching duty of fairness in setting aside MD's administrative penalties. For a free consultation and a competitive lawyer rate, call 403.452.8018.