Third Drinking & Driving Offence in Alberta

Gunn Law Group

Driving under the influence (DUI), driving while impaired (DWI), drunk driving and impaired driving all mean the same thing – a Criminal Code offence which impacts heavily on the life of the person charged. A third offence carries the heaviest penalties under Alberta impaired driving laws. This is not a charge which should be taken lightly, nor defended without good legal guidance.

The impaired driving defense team at Gunn Law Group has an solid reputation for successfully defending impaired driving charges. Most commonly, impaired driving arrests involve drinking and driving but a driver may be subject to Impaired driving charges when a law enforcement officer suspects that a substance, chemical, or condition is impairing the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. More and more arrests occur in Alberta because the police officer suspects that the accused driver is under the influence of illegal drugs or even legal prescription medications and not necessarily alcohol.

Gunn Law Group diligently defends DUI arrests because we employ the following approaches:

  • Questioning the legality of the traffic stop.
  • Challenging the methods for determining sobriety.
  • Cross-examining witness testimony and questioning the police investigation and procedures.
  • Using an expert toxicologist’s testimony, when appropriate, to refute the Crown’s evidence.
  • Employing challenges to laws, codes, statutes and legislation.

So much is at stake when you or someone you know is arrested and charged with driving impaired so it is critical that you get the help of a DUI lawyer who knows the system and can give you the best chance of getting your drunk driving arrest charges dismissed or reduced. Mistakes, such as driving drunk can happen to anyone.

Not only to the people who may have had a little too much to drink, but also to the police officers who make impaired driving arrests. We can help uncover these police mistakes. The impaired driving lawyers at the Gunn Law Group have been very successful in helping clients resume their everyday lives after driving impaired and DUI arrests.




Between .05 blood alcohol content and .08 blood alcohol content on a third offence

Drivers charged with having a BAC between .05 and .08 for a third time will face:

As with previous offences, drivers are on the hook for all costs associated with towing and impounding of the vehicle. With per day charges for impounding, as well as costs for attending mandatory courses, expenses can mount quickly.

Over .08 blood alcohol content on a third offence in Alberta

It would be hard to exaggerate the seriousness of a third criminal offence for drinking and driving with over .08 blood alcohol content in Alberta. The provincial penalties are as follows:

  • Sustained licence suspension. until criminal charges are resolved
  • 7-day vehicle seizure
  • 5-year mandatory ignition interlock, upon conviction.

After conviction in court, a person who has two prior convictions will normally be facing a substantial amount of time in custody. The length of the jail sentence will depend on the precise number of prior convictions, other entries on the criminal record, and the dates of the convictions. It is imperative that you seek the advice of an experienced impaired driving lawyer who can help you defend the charges and/or mitigate the sentence.

Depending on the time it takes to resolve criminal charges you may be facing what amounts to an indefinite licence suspension. If the Alberta Registrar reviews your case and determines you are a risk to repeat then you could be looking at a provincial suspension of 5 years or more, or even an indefinite suspension.. In such a scenario, driving privileges may be withheld beyond the length of the sentence imposed in court until such time as the Registrar no longer considers you to be a risk.

Refusing the breathalyzer in Alberta

Drunk driving laws prohibit a person from operating a motor vehicle, while having the care or control of a vehicle when one’s ability to operate that vehicle is impaired by alcohol. If you are taken into custody on suspicion that you are driving drunk, a qualified technician sample will require samples to be taken from the accused driver’s breath intoa 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.

You may choose to refuse the breathalyzer; however if you do you will be charged with impaired driving under the Criminal Code. As such you will face immediate licence suspension and will have to defend yourself in court.

Get back on track. Consult our Edmonton Drunk Driving lawyers today.

Being charged with a third offence for drinking and driving / impaired driving can derail your life in very serious, lasting ways. You need to get back on your feet as soon as possible. We can help.
Gunn Law Group handles the criminal defense of impaired or drunk driving charges anywhere in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Northwest territories, and Manitoba.
Call our offices at 1-780-666-7561 and start taking control today.