Refusal to Blow or Failure to Provide a Breath Sample, in Alberta

In Alberta, a police officer can request a breath sample if they have reason to believe that the person in care and control of a vehicle may be impaired by either drugs or alcohol. If an officer has reasonable or probable grounds to believe that someone’s ability to drive is impaired, they may demand an “Alco-Sur” test (also known as a breathalyzer..

Why An Officer May Demand a Breath Sample:

Failure to use headlights
Erratic driving (swerving, failure to signal, failure to stop etc.)
Slurred Speech
Bloodshot or glassy eyes
Detected smell of alcohol

What is a Roadside Screening Device?

A roadside screening device is a portable instrument used to provide an informal measure of a person’s blood alcohol level. Unlike a breathalyzer. it is not against the law to “fail” the roadside screening test; however, failing the test will give the police officer grounds to apply a breathalyzer.

Refusing the Roadside Screening Test

If you refuse to provide a roadside breath sample, you may be charged with “refusal to blow,” which carries the same penalties as impaired driving with a BAC in excess of .08. Refusal to blow also gives the officer grounds to demand that you submit to a breathalyzer test.

What is a Breathalyzer test?

If an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, with a BAC of over .08, the officer may demand that the driver submit to a breathalyzer test.

Once the demand for the test has been made, the driver will be required to provide two breath samples, which will be taken at least 15 minutes apart. This test is conducted by a technician, usually at the police station or in a mobile testing unit. In the event that the driver is unable to provide a breath sample, due to physical condition or ability, the officer can demand that a blood sample be taken in place of a breath sample.

Contact Our Lawyers in Edmonton Before Taking a Breathalyzer

If you have been pulled over for suspected impaired driving, and are facing a breathalyzer test, you have the right to speak with a lawyer before providing a breath sample. Contact the DUI lawyers at Gunn Law Group before you submit to a breathalyzer, and we will ensure that your rights are protected.

Penalties for Refusal or Failure to Provide a Breath or Blood Sample

As it is with the roadside screening test, the penalties for refusing to take the breathalyzer test or provide a blood sample are the same as being charged with impaired driving over .08.

Penalties can include:
Automatic license suspension
Automatic vehicle seizure
Prison sentence
Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program
Mandatory “Planning Ahead” course

Call Gunn Law Group if You Have been Charged With Refusing a Breathalyzer in Edmonton

If you have been charged with refusing a roadside screening test, breathalyzer, or BAC blood test, you are facing the same legal consequences as an impaired driver. An impaired driving lawyer can help defend your case if you are facing a DUI conviction. The penalties for these charges can have serious, and lasting impacts on your ability to live, work, and travel. The DUI lawyers at Gunn Law Group can review your case, and will inform you of what your options are. Our experienced lawyers can help to mitigate the negative effects of a refusal or impaired driving charge, and are committed to defending your rights during trial.