Contact DUI Lawyer David Chow for a Free Consultation

calgary dui lawyer

"I have been litigating cases in court since before I was called to the bar. The first client I ever defended was an impaired driving client. Since 1999 I have successfully defended several hundreds of impaired driving cases in Calgary, throughout Alberta and elsewhere".

David Chow has been defending DUI cases in Calgary since before he was called to the criminal bar in 2003.  He appeared as a law student to defend his first client at the Provincial Court of Alberta in 1999.  This was a case heard by Judge Fradsham.

As a former Crown Prosecutor from 2003-2005, David prosecuted nearly a hundred impaired driving cases. Since joining the criminal defence bar in 2005, much of David Chow's  criminal law practice has been focussed on defending DUI cases. 

the best dui lawyers are specialists

"Not every criminal defence lawyer truly understands how to defend a DUI case. This is because impaired driving prosecutions are often quite technical in nature and commonly involve defences under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms". I understand how to defend against an impaired driving prosecution".

David Chow understands that properly defending impaired driving and its related prosecutions (such as at/over 80 and refusing to blow) requires a truly dedicated impaired driving lawyer -- one who has committed him or herself to a niche practice. The reason for this is that there are often technical defences relating to both the collection and interpretation of evidence. Also, perhaps more than any crime (other than drug prosecutions), impaired driving triggers applications under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Alberta Justice has also created specialized impaired driving units, tasked with the sole job of prosecuting impaired driving offences. To meet the challenge, an accused charged with impaired driving needs a similarly focussed lawyer.  

David Chow is a Calgary DUI lawyer of choice; he offers a free consultation. 

immediate roadside sanctions

As an experienced impaired driving lawyer in Calgary, David Chow also understands how to effectively resist administrative penalties imposed on suspected impaired drivers through programs such as SafeRoads Alberta.  On December 1st, 2020 the Alberta Government changed traffic safety law by introducing new drinking and driving enforcement measures within the recently enacted Provincial Administrative Penalties Act, 2020 (“PAPA 2020”).  

If you have had your vehicle seized and license administratively suspended after December 1st, 2020, call immediately for a free consultation.  Though it will likely be difficult and notwithstanding that this law is weighted against you, there may be a path to resisting the penalties.  

How does the Crown prove impaired driving?

To prove "impaired driving" the Crown must demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused's ability to operate (or have care or control) of a "conveyance" (usually a motor vehicle) was impaired by alcohol to any degree from slight -to-great. This means that even "slight impairment of the ability to drive" is enough to sustain conviction. It is important to remember, however, that the accused's impairment is not to do brain surgery (see R. v. Andrews); rather, it is impairment of the ability to drive. So though an accused may demonstrate minor indicia of impairment, that does not necessarily equate into proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the ability to drive.  

Along with impaired driving, there are connected offences such as "operating a motor vehicle with blood-alcohol "at" or "over" the legal limit. In Canada, the legal limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (80mg%).  Another connected offence is refusing to provide a breath sample.  Where a person cannot be double punished for being convicted of both impaired driving and "at/over 80",  an accused can be punished for impaired driving and punished again for refusing to blow. There are different legal considerations for breath samples at roadside than breath samples obtained by way of a formal breath demand.  

It is common to think about impaired driving as an alcohol related offence. Alcohol, however, is not the only cause of impaired driving. The police also investigate impairment by drug(s).


Hire a Lawyer who understands your legal situation

As a Calgary DUI lawyer, I understand that most criminal driving offences involve ordinary citizens whose actions do not fit into the kind of morally blameworthy conduct typical of other crimes.  Many people honestly think they were not impaired to drive.  Many believe they were not operating a motor vehicle with blood-alcohol exceeding the legal limit.  This belief may even be true.  The best advice immediately after being charged with a DUI offence is to understand your legal predicament and explore your options.

David Chow understands that your situation may appear bleak.  After all, you are likely an ordinary person, who has never had his/her fingers inked and rolled for fingerprints. You have have probably never been accused of a crime or been to a criminal court. As a result of the Alberta Administrative License Suspension program (ALS), you can no longer legally operate a motor vehicle.  

Learn about your DUI / DWI Charge

True or not, the reality is, the Government has established a legal model designed to enhance the likelihood of conviction and to punish regardless of whether you successfully defend the case. This is so because in Alberta, the State administratively suspends your driving privileges as soon as you are charged with an impaired driving offence (ALS). 

DUI and Impaired driving law can be confusing.  Many ordinary people have no idea that police have broad and overarching traffic detention power. They have no idea that their right to counsel is suspended during the initial stages of an investigative inquiry.   For example, offences such as refusing to blow carry specific legal confusion.  Given the generally accepted Charter right that all persons have a right to counsel upon “detention” or “arrest”, many accused logically think they had a right to a lawyer before providing potentially incriminating evidence at roadside.  Notwithstanding the reasonableness of this belief (because the Charter says so) the common law confuses, rather than clarifies.   Once marijuana legalization occurs, confusion about the operation of a motor vehicle after having consumed cannabis will certainly arise. 


Making it Easier to convict

Parliament, with the assistance of the Courts has chosen to make policing and prosecuting impaired driving (and its related offences) easier.  For example, police are now authorized to conduct mandatory roadside testing for anybody behind the wheel. This testing can be conducted without even a scintilla of information to support a belief that the motorist has consumed alcohol.

Read: A Calgary Criminal Lawyer's musings on Mandatory Roadside Sobriety Testing 

Making things easier, however, does not necessarily make the law fair, reasonable or right. 

Call Calgary dui lawyer David Chow for a Free Consultation

As a former Crown prosecutor and impaired driving lawyer with over a decade of experience defending impaired cases, David Chow understands the complex dynamics underlying any impaired driving allegation.  He appreciates that you are not only fighting a difficult case for which conviction might cost your job, home, future prospects and family, but that you are also battling the weight of a callous legal system that ensures punishment before conviction. 

David Chow is  a DUI lawyer in Calgary who routinely secures verdicts of not guilty for persons charged with impaired driving, dangerous driving, over 80, refusing to blow and other criminal driving offences (including those causing death).  David is acutely aware of the importance of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the rule of law, the rules of evidence and the presumption of innocence.  He is a senior Calgary defence lawyer, who regularly attends various jurisdictions throughout Alberta, including Calgary, all Calgary circuit points (such as Cochrane, Canmore and Airdrie), Lethbridge, Cochrane, Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray and Red Deer.

PROVEN HISTORY of defending dui in calgary

David Chow has successfully defended hundreds of impaired driving cases.  For an experienced Calgary DUI lawyer, call 403.452.8018 for a free consultation. 

Understanding DUI | Defending Impaired Driving | The DUI Charge | IRS | Impaired by Drug | Criminal Driving Offences


Recent Case Results

R. v. W.J.W.

January 27, 2021

(Red Deer, IRS/Impaired Driving).  Under the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act 2020 (PAPA 2020), JW was issued immediate roadside sanctions (IRS).  There are many ways to defend a Notice of Administrative Penalty (NAP).  One way is to show that the person who was issued IRS was not driving or did not have care or control at the relevant time. In this case, the situation was interesting because JW was occupying the driver's seat when the police arrived; however, evidence was adduced that the vehicle was (1) not running, (2) incapable of being set in motion and (3) only temporarily occupied for the purpose of gathering items from the vehicle's interior. The evidence was made stronger because a taxi was clearly present at scene when the police arrived. In this case, the adjudicator acted very fairly, cancelling the Notice of Administrative Penalty.  The trouble with this case was the limited investigation conducted by the officer. Had the officer made relevant inquiries and not merely interpreted the behaviour as sinister, he would have learned details that may have resulted in the NAP not being issued at all. Sadly, JW's vehicle was impounded for 30 days. That was a family vehicle. Also, notwithstanding successfully applying to have the NAP cancelled, JW had to pay impound fees.  If you have received immediate roadside sanctions, call an experienced Alberta roadside sanctions lawyer to help. David Chow has successfully defended many roadside sanctions cases. For a free consultation with an immediate roadside sanctions lawyer call 403.452.8018.

R. v. W.T.

January 20, 2021

(Medicine Hat - Care or Control/Over 80). W.T. was charged with having care or control of a motor vehicle and over 80 in relation to a case that arose in the summer of 2020.  WT's case is an example of one where the Prosecutor properly exercised his public interest duty by evaluating the case early and intervening early.  Recognizing problems with the case and the low public interest in proceeding in the circumstances, the Crown withdrew the charges.  Of course, WT had unfortunately been impacted by Alberta's administrative driving suspension program, which was exacerbated because he/she was a GDL driver. Regardless, WT did not get a criminal record and because of the Prosecutor, avoided the hardship of trial fees. David Chow -- WT's DUI lawyer -- connected with the crown very early on in the process to explain the issues. From a criminal law perspective, an important lesson from WT revolves around the benefit to the accused and public when counsel for the Crown and Defence are capable of having an honest conversation about a case early on. When this occurs, many cases can be resolved without expensive, time consuming and resource consuming litigation. Looking for a criminal lawyer in Alberta (or an Alberta roadside sanctions lawyer) who pursues all available avenues to defend a case? Call David Chow for a free telephone consultation. "I would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business". 

R. v. M.D.

January 10, 2021

(Grand Prairie - DUI/IRS).  MD was issued immediate roadside sanctions (IRS) by way of a Notice of Administrative Penalty (NAP). On December 1st, 2020 Alberta enacted legislation cloaking police with discretion to either charge impaired driving/at/over 80/ refusal under the Criminal Code of Canada or to issue roadside sanctions. Roadside sanctions means that the motorist is subject to a $1000 fine, 90 day suspension, a 12 month interlock restriction and vehicle impoundment. Any information uploaded by police to the SafeRoads Portal is deemed by law to be "under oath".  The evidentiary paradigm is designed in a manner that greatly benefits Alberta Transportation (the Government).  David Chow is an Alberta Roadside Sanctions Lawyer.  Several arguments were made in support of having MD's NAP cancelled and his driving privileges restored.  The adjudicator exercised her overarching duty of fairness in setting aside MD's administrative penalties.  For a free consultation and a competitive lawyer rate, call 403.452.8018.

R. v. F.V.G.

December 24, 2020

(Calgary, P.C. - DUI/ALS Appeal).  The case of FVG involved both the scheduling of an impaired driving trial and an ALS hearing.  The criminal charges against FVG were stayed by the Crown and later, after a full written argument presented to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board, the administrative license suspension was set aside. On December 1st, 2020 the law in Alberta underwent some modification with the new SafeRoads adjudicative model.  Today, the p0lice have incredible discretion to charge DUI  offences by way of the criminal law or penalize pursuant to the Provincial Administrative Penalties Act (PAPA 2020). Though PAPA 2020 confers many evidentiary advantages on the government, this Alberta roadside sanctions lawyer has learned that the law also permits some evidentiary shortcuts to the penalized motorist. Under the SafeRoads adjudicative model, the adjudicator only has the power to cancel or confirm the notice of administrative penalty. If you are looking to hire an impaired driving lawyer  in Alberta or a lawyer to defend against immediate roadside sanctions, call me for a free telephone consultation. Though I offer competitive and affordable rates, the fact is, lawyers are not inexpensive, so it is very important for you to choose the criminal defence lawyer who is right for you.  Good luck.