Can You Be Charged For Refusing A Breathalyzer?

In Alberta, you can be charged for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer at a roadside check stop. Police officers have the legal authority to pull over any driver who is exhibiting erratic or irregular driving behaviour. If the officer suspects you were drinking, you will be subjected to a breathalyzer examination. However, even behaviour that indicates you may not have your complete presence of mind may be enough to warrant an officer to pull you over. Failing to signal lane changes, or leaving your turn signal on after a lane change, would be enough for an officer to justify pulling you over.

Regardless of the reasons for why you were pulled over; if you refused to allow an officer to test your BAC with a breathalyzer sample, you will require an impaired driving lawyer with the experience to help you. Ryan Claxton has the experience that you need.

Can I Refuse the Breathalyzer?

Yes. But the officer will likely assume the worst about your current condition. You will have a limited defence to their subjective judgment of your state and ability to operate a motor vehicle. Your driver’s license may be suspended or cancelled if you’re stopped by law enforcement and you fail to comply with a demand, for example refusing a breath test or Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST).

Charges for Impaired Driving in Alberta

Tougher consequences at the .05 to .08 level are designed to discourage drinking and driving – before drivers reach the criminally impaired level.

For drivers with Blood Alcohol .05 to .08:
1st offence: immediate 3-day licence suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure.
2nd offence: immediate 15-day licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Planning Ahead” course.
3rd offence: immediate 30-day licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.

For drivers with blood alcohol over .08 it is criminal charge. You will receive an immediate licence suspension which is sustained until criminal charge is resolved:

1st charge: sustained licence suspension and 3-day vehicle seizure, “Planning Ahead” course.
2nd charge: sustained licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
3rd charge: sustained licence suspension, 7-day vehicle seizure, “Impact” course.
Mandatory ignition interlock after criminal conviction – 1 year for 1st conviction; 3 years for 2nd conviction; 5 years for 3rd conviction.

There is a zero-tolerance impaired driving policy for GDL drivers in Alberta. Any GDL driver that undergoes a breathalyzer and registers a BAC of over .00, there is an immediate 30-day license suspension and 7-day vehicle seizure.

Prepare Your Defence Today

Ryan Claxton is able to defend you in court for refusing to take the breathalyzer at a roadside check stop. You don’t need to face a drunk driving charge alone. All impaired driving cases are complex and carry serious sentences. Don’t take any risks, contact Ryan today.