Breathalyzers Used In Alberta

Our drunk driving lawyers in Calgary Can Help

If you are pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving, an officer may ask you to take a breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer checks the content of alcohol in your breath to indirectly measure blood alcohol content (BAC).

Failing a breathalyzer test may result in further investigation or a charge of drinking and driving. If this has happened to you, you need to secure legal defense to defend against impaired driving charges immediately.

Can I refuse breathalyzer testing in Alberta?

Under Alberta’s drunk driving laws, refusing to provide a breathalyzer sample will result in a criminal charge. However, you have the right to legal counsel before providing a sample.

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Failing a breathalyzer test

If you were charged for refusing a breathalyzer test, if you suspect testing may have been inaccurate or without grounds or you were required to take a test without access to legal counsel, this is sometimes referred to as “trial by machine.” You have the right to legal counsel when charges for drinking and driving are being laid.

What happens if I blow over .05?

In Alberta, a BAC of .05 or higher is cause for an immediate 3-day license suspension and vehicle seizure. Blowing over .08 BAC will result in criminal charges.

Accuracy of breathalyzer testing

Breath alcohol tests are very reliable; however, it is possible to produce a false reading. Accuracy can be affected by a variety of factors, including:

  • When you last had a drink (if it was within 15 minutes of driving, the alcohol on your breath may be higher than your BAC)
  • Mouth alcohol (regurgitating or burping may cause the alcohol content in your breath to be higher)
  • Temperature of the air
  • Calibration of the machine
  • Operator error – a breathalyzer test must be administered twice, 15 minutes apart, to be a valid, admissible sample

It is not easy to disprove breathalyzer results but you can get a “second opinion” to verify the accuracy of the test, such as getting a blood test.

Hire our skilled DUI lawyers in Calgary, today

Ryan Claxton’s experienced impaired driving defense lawyers will help you strategize the best defense to prevent an impaired driving charge from having a lasting negative impact on your life.

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