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New trial set for Alberta man facing drunk driving charges

A Cypress County Alberta man accused of impaired driving two years ago will be heading to court at the end of this November. Drunk driving charges were laid against the man after he was involved in a head-on collision in Dec. 2015 which sent several people to hospital, including a newborn. The accused pleaded not guilty last October to a number of criminal charges connected with the incident.

Initially, a trial date was set for earlier this year, but the man did not yet have legal counsel, so the trial was postponed. The court also gave the accused time for the lawyer of the accused to familiarize himself with the case. A new trial has been set to begin on Nov. 27. 

In Alberta, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 or more will face drunk driving charges. They will also have their drivers licences suspended and their vehicles seized, both for a three-day period. Drivers tested with a BAC of .08 or higher will have their licences suspended until the criminal charges are resolved and their vehicles seized for three days. The law is focused on drivers who are considered high risk, including those with prior drunk-driving convictions and those with elevated blood/alcohol levels.

Drunk driving is a serious criminal offence, but the onus of proof lies with the Alberta crown prosecutor. He or she must prove the accused was intoxicated at the time of the head-on collision. Drunk driving charges may be reduced or dropped altogether if they're unable to be proved in court or due to a convincing defence argument.

Source: medicinehatnew.com, "New trial dates set for man accused of drunk-driving crash", Peggy Revell, Accessed on June 30, 2017

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