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Calgary's enforcement on impaired driving

The Calgary Police Service take impaired driving offenses serious. This is evidenced by the fact that they are the only locale in North America that has an ongoing CHECKSTOP program that remains in place 52 weeks a year. This program began as a pilot program in 2007 and was implemented in 2008. It has been in force ever since.

With this kind of monitoring in place, CPS issues around 2,700 impaired driving charges a year. The charges include anyone who has a blood-alcohol level of .08 or above. To detect the presence of alcohol, the CPS uses a handheld breathalyzer, the Alco-Sensor FST device, and to detect the amount of alcohol in the blood, they use the Intoxilyzer 5000C, a much larger, non-portable device.

An officer can demand a sobriety test during a roadside stop if he or she has reason to believe a driver is impaired. The test should be given by a trained evaluator after he or she reads a Criminal Code Demand to the driver. If the officer suspects drug impairment, he or she must call a Drug Recognition Expert in to analyse.

Penalties for drug-impaired driving and alcohol-impaired driving are the same. A person who has been charged with either should seek legal advice and see what their options are. There are a number of options besides just pleading guilty that might result in a better outcome. If an accident occurred and injuries were involved, pleading guilty could play a vital role in making the impaired driver responsible for all damages, as well as susceptible to personal injury lawsuits.

Source: The City of Calgary, "Impaired Driving," accessed Dec. 30, 2015

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