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Edmonton Alberta Criminal Law Blog

Social media ads may encourage teen drinking

It is a well-known fact that advertisements affect human behaviour. This is why there are limits on advertising alcoholic beverages in print and on television. It is also why cigarette advertisements no longer appear in mainstream television or print content.

However, the restrictions are much looser on online advertisers, and evidence suggests that social media may be encouraging underage persons to drink. According to new research, using social media one hour a day causes alcohol consumption among teenagers from 7th to 11th grade to experience a 0.45 unit increase.  

Don’t make these 3 mistakes if police pull you over

Any interaction with police officers can make people feel uncomfortable, even if they haven’t done anything wrong. Under these circumstances, it can be easy to forget that you have rights and legal protections. 

For instance, if police stop you while driving in Ontario, remember that you have rights in that situation. To protect them and yourself, avoid the following common mistakes.

What happens if I refuse a breath test in Alberta?

Having a DUI on one's record can affect a person's life in numerous ways. Besides criminal consequences, there is often a great deal of stigma associated with a drunk driving conviction. That is why it is so important for those accused of impaired driving-related offences to have a strong criminal defence strategy.

One Edmonton man may need just that after authorities claim that he was drunk and struck a bicyclist with his SUV. According to police reports, the incident took place on Highway 2 near Red Deer. The 32-year-old cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by RCMP. The driver of the vehicle refused to take a Breathalyzer test.

Why and how alcohol affects people differently

Imagine you are meeting up with some friends to have a barbecue. It’s a beautiful night, you haven’t seen them for a while and you are having a good time. You all have a few drinks throughout the night, but no one seems impaired. 

However, you could wind up being the person police suspect of drunk driving if the alcohol affects you more than the other people. Below are some reasons why this happens.

How can you contest a blood alcohol test?

Breathalyzer tests are commonly used to test a driver's level of impairment from alcohol. However, the breathalyzer has often been criticised for its unreliable results.

In addition to breath tests, Alberta law enforcement may also employ blood alcohol tests if they suspect you of drunk driving. This test involves a lab technician drawing a blood sample, which they test for alcohol. While law enforcement praises the test for its accuracy, is it unbeatable in court?

Examining impaired driving laws post cannabis legalization

It’s been almost a year since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada. Since then, the government has opened its online store, and allowed private brick-and-mortar shops to open in different provinces.

The Federal government also updated their impaired driving laws to include specific drug-related situations, and many provincial governments have also updated their respective highway traffic legislation as well. The updates also served to address public concerns over the legalization, and what protections were going to be in place to protect drivers and pedestrians if someone should get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs.

What conditions present the same signs as driving while impaired?

Every driver should know that driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is something to avoid. Not only could these types of impaired driving lead to legal consequences, they can also contribute to a serious accident. However, just because a driver appears impaired does not mean he or she is.

There are numerous lawful conditions that can mimic the symptoms of impairment, which include eye and vision issues, balance problems, confusion and unsafe driving behaviours.

How will police test drivers for cannabis impairment?

Police cannot lay criminal charges for drug-impaired driving offences without sufficient evidence. They must have reasonable grounds for stopping drivers, as defined in the Criminal Code, before they can collect this evidence from any driver.

The federal government established three offences for drug impairment, based on the amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a person's bloodstream. THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that impairs a user. One is for having 2 to 5 nanograms (ng) of THC in your blood, and the other is for having 5 ng and above. A third offence is for users who combine 50 mg of alcohol with 2.5 ng of THC in their bloodstream.

Do you know the laws regarding the legalization of cannabis?

You may be among the many in Alberta and across Canada who have been eagerly anticipating the legalization of cannabis. Perhaps you are looking forward to trying it for the first time, or you may simply be relieved to not worry about breaking the law when you enjoy cannabis with your friends. Your wait is nearly over. Already legal and available for authorized medicinal purposes, cannabis will be legal for recreational use by the end of 2018 under careful federal and provincial regulation.

The regulations will limit the amount of cannabis you can carry or grow as well as setting age restrictions for those who can use the substance. The government seeks to protect you by overseeing the production and distribution of cannabis and educating the public about the risks of using it. Like alcohol consumption, cannabis can affect your ability to drive safely, and law enforcement will be vigilant about identifying and arresting those driving while impaired.