Breathalyzer Testing in Edmonton
If a peace officer suspects that you may be driving while impaired, he/she can demand that you take a road side sobriety test, including testing for blood alcohol content. The most common way to check for blood alcohol content is using an alcohol sensing device such as an Intoxilyzer, Alco-Sensor or Alco-Sur.
These screening devices test the amount of alcohol on your breath and uses that to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you fail the screening test, you may be taken back to the police station for testing on an approved instrument such as an Intoxilyzer, Breathalyzer, Intoximeter or BAC Datamaster. While there are many instruments approved for breath-testing in Canada, for the purposes of this website we will refer to them as “Breathalyzers”.
Testing for blood alcohol content and what it means
Many Albertans are familiar with the “legal limit” for blood alcohol, .08 BAC. This is the limit at which you will be charged with a criminal offence for impaired driving. However, due to recent legislative changes you only have to have a BAC of .05 to face sanctions for impaired driving.
Drunk driving law, DWI laws DUI laws or impaired driving laws, as they are all commonly referred to, prohibit a person from operating a motor vehicle, while having the care or control over that vehicle when one’s ability to operate that vehicle is impaired by alcohol. DWI laws dictate that, if you are taken into custody on reasonable grounds that you are driving drunk, a qualified technician will require samples from the accused driver’s breath into a breathalyzer-type device known as the Intoxylizer 5000C. The test is administered in order to determine the level of milligrams of alcohol present per 100 milliliters of blood.
The machines currently used by police in Alberta to test your blood alcohol content have a high degree of accuracy. It is very rare that a breathalyzer will deliver a false positive reading, but it can still happen.
A variety of circumstances may skew breathalyzer results, including:
- Mouth alcohol bias
- Quality of the breath sample
- Health of the individual providing samples
- Extreme temperatures
- Device calibration
Breathalyzer results and impaired driving penalties in Alberta
A breathalyzer test does not amount to a conviction for impaired driving and yet it carries significant penalties under law. Some legal practitioners are concerned that there may be an over-reliance on the breathalyzerto do the work of the justice system.
Depending on breathalyzer results you may be facing anywhere from a 3 day licence suspension and vehicle seizure to a sustained licence suspension pending resolution of criminal charges. For this reason, if you have any doubts about the accuracy of a breathalyzer test administered to you, you should consider getting re-tested or having a blood test to verify. You should also consult a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
Get back on track. Consult our Edmonton DUI lawyers today.
If your car has been towed and your licence suspended, we can help.
Gunn Law Group handles criminal defense of impaired or drunk driving charges in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, Beaumont, Bon Accord, Bruderheim, Calmar, Devon, Gibbons, Legal, Morinville, Redwater, Stony Plain And Strathcona County, Leduc County, Parkland County And Sturgeon County, Peace River, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and other communities in northern Alberta. We will go anywhere in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest territories, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Call our offices at 1-780-666-7561 and start taking control today.