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Calgary police to expand drunk driving charges

Each holiday season, local police launch three government-subsidized checkpoint projects meant to curb drunk driving in Alberta. This year, Calgary police have already begun filing drunk driving charges against multiple motorists who tested over the limit for alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, even if an individual is charged with drunk driving, there are still legal options available to pursue. 

The checkpoints operate on set evenings on major traffic routes. Police say while the checkpoints are effective in stopping drunk drivers, particularly young people on graduated licenses, they are only treating a symptom of a larger problem. Police have expressed low tolerance for individuals found to be intoxicated at these stops who, they say, are making conscious choices that can endanger others. 

The checkpoints consist of a police traffic stop. If an officer becomes suspicious that a driver might be intoxicated, that driver is pulled aside for a breath or sobriety test. Of course, it is important for officers on the scene to conduct these test in strict adherence to the rights of the driver being tested. If they fail to do so, any evidence they might garner from these roadside stops may not prove admissible in court. 

This is why Calgary residents who may be facing drunk driving charges might benefit from seeking the support of an experienced defense attorney. Such a professional can work with the accused individual to determine whether the roadside stop was warranted and conducted professionally. They can also argue for reduction in sentences and fines, should the specifics of the case require that approach. 

Source: Calgary Herald, "'Tis the season for enhanced Checkstops to hit Calgary roads", Michael Lumsden, Nov. 27, 2016

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