Many people may have a few drinks and wonder, “Am I over the legal limit to drive home?” The truth is, there is not one single limit in Alberta after which you can get arrested.

Instead, there are different penalties for different levels of impairment, as well as different standards for different types of drivers. Authorities can use breath or blood tests to determine the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream, known as your blood alcohol content, or BAC. There are different potential penalties for different BAC levels, as follows. “Over 0.08” The most commonly-known legal limit is a BAC of 0.08 percent. If you are convicted of operating a vehicle with a BAC over this limit, you can be charged with a criminal offence of impaired driving, also referred to as an “over 0.08” charge. Your vehicle will also be seized for at least three days and your driver’s licence will be immediately suspended for the duration of your criminal case, if not longer. A criminal conviction for impaired driving over 0.08 percent will go on your permanent record. You can experience the following:

  • Court-imposed fines
  • Possible time in jail
  • A substantial increase in insurance costs
  • Employment issues
  • Immigration and travel issues

If you were arrested with a BAC reading over 0.08 percent, you should not wait any longer to call a highly experienced impaired driving defence lawyer. 0.05 to 0.08 You may think that simply because you are under 0.08 percent, you are fine to drive under the law. However, Canada has a lower limit of 0.05 percent at which you can experience certain consequences. If your BAC is in this range, you will not face criminal charges, however, you can face administrative penalties. These penalties can include:

  • Immediate suspension of your licence for 3 days
  • Seizure of your vehicle for 3 days

Zero Tolerance

If you have a graduated driver’s licence, none of the above limits apply to you, as you are not allowed to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your system. While you will not necessarily face criminal charges, the consequences can include:

  • Vehicle seizure for seven days
  • Suspension of your licence for 30 days
  • Additional waiting period before receiving your full licence

Other Impairment

Know that you do not have to have a BAC reading above the legal limit - or any reading at all - to be arrested and charged with impaired driving. If you show signs of impairment or are suspected to be impaired by drugs, you can still face impaired driving charges.

Contact our Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyers Today

Criminal law is not a black-and-white matter in Alberta, and the same goes for legal limits. Do not assume that you are under the legal limit or that you will not face consequences if you are pulled over. In the event that you are arrested, you need a criminal defence lawyer from Bourdon Defence on your side as soon as possible. Call 403-474-4143 or contact us online today.