What to do if I am suspected of drunk driving | Part 2


If you are being arrested or informed you are being detained for a breath test because of suspected drunk driving, all that is required of you is two satisfactory breath samples.

The decision to not provide a sample (or refuse to provide a sample) is ultimately yours. You can ask to speak to a lawyer after you refuse to provide samples or after you provide samples. It is inappropriate for a lawyer to ever tell you “not to comply”.

It’s a myth that you are only allowed one call while in custody. Within reason, you should be allowed to call other lawyers. Make sure the police know if you are not satisfied with the legal advice you receive or if you are unable to reach a lawyer. If you have the business card of a lawyer in your wallet, you can ask the police for it. When you talk to the lawyer, make sure you understand what the legal consequences of refusing to provide a breath sample are. If you are unclear, have the lawyer explain it to you again or call a different lawyer. It’s important you understand what your options are and what the results of those options could be.

Once you have provided samples or made the decision to refuse to provide samples you will likely be released from police custody within a reasonable amount of time. If there are any difficulties securing your release, ask to contact a lawyer.

Impaired driving charges and refusal charges are not charges you should simply plead guilty to. Convictions for either offense can have lasting consequences including a criminal record, loss of driving privileges, fines, and possible jail. It is important to seek out legal advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer to review the facts of your matter. 

If you have been charged with impaired driving in the province of Alberta, we have a team of experienced professionals who are ready to assist you.  Feel free to contact one of our lawyers and we would be happy to assist you. 

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