A conviction for impaired driving, known in the United States as driving under the influence—or DUI—can lead to a myriad of penalties. Those penalties may include relatively minor administrative penalties, such as licence suspensions or revocations, along with hefty fines and even incarceration.
In the DUI context, aggravating factors are circumstances or facts, which have the potential to increase a criminal defendant’s culpability for the charged offence. As such, these aggravating factors can lead to harsher criminal sentences and penalties upon conviction. If you have been charged with or convicted of impaired driving in Calgary, the experienced legal team at Bourdon Defence may be able to assist. Our legal team can examine your case from every angle and will do everything possible to help you obtain a favourable result.
Impaired Driving Charges in Calgary
In order to charge and convict an offender of impaired driving in Calgary, under the Criminal Code of Canada, the Crown prosecutor must be able to satisfy certain legal elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, the prosecutor must be able to show that you were operating a motor vehicle at the time of your arrest—or that a motor vehicle was under your direct care or control at that time. The prosecutor must also be able to show that alcohol impaired your ability to drive. When it comes to rendering a criminal conviction in a Calgary impaired driving case, courts will examine all of the facts and circumstances available. Specifically, the court will look to evidence that shows that the driver’s speech was impaired, that his or her breath smelled of alcohol at the time of the arrest, and/or that the driver’s balance and coordination were off. Moreover, the court will look to the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of the arrest—and specifically, whether that level was 0.08 percent or higher at that time.
Types of Aggravating Factors
A variety of aggravating factors can lead to enhanced criminal penalties upon conviction. Those potential aggravating factors include the following:
- Prior convictions - The existence of prior criminal convictions—especially prior impaired driving convictions—tend to show that a driver is irresponsible and poses a high degree of risk to other drivers on the road.
- Exceptionally high BAC levels - An exceptionally high BAC level also shows that a driver is high risk, careless, and does not value human life.
- Excessive speeding - Driving 20 to 30 miles per hour (or more) above the posted speed limit also shows that a driver is careless. Excessive speed, coupled with drunk driving, is almost certainly a recipe for disaster.
- Multiple victims - When multiple victims are injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, the court may increase the drunk driver’s criminal penalty accordingly.
Talk to a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Impaired Driving Charge
You should never take an impaired driving charge or conviction lightly. If you have sustained a Calgary impaired driving charge, the lawyers at Bourdon Defence may be of assistance. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary, please call us today at (403) 474-4143, or contact us online.