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Calgary Criminal Law & Misdemeanours Law Blog

Details of the Alberta interlock ignition program

Drivers who have been convicted of impaired driving in Alberta must take part in the Interlock Ignition Program. Drivers will be instructed to install the device for a set period, and they may not take it out until they have proven that they will not drive while impaired. In some cases, it may be possible to obtain an exemption that allows a driver to bypass participation in the program.

When asking for the exemption, those who have been convicted of a first offense with a blood alcohol content that was below 160 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood must explain why the exemption should be granted. In addition, the individual must include a valid blood alcohol reading. Furthermore, the driver must provide alternative actions that may be taken to ensure public safety during the disqualification period.

Sentencing guidelines for domestic assault charges

Alberta residents may be interested in some information about the sentencing guidelines for domestic assault charges. Depending on the factors present, the sentence may vary.

The policy of the Alberta courts is that crimes of domestic violence require general deterrence and a denunciation of the act, rather than a focus on individual rehabilitation. When a court is deciding on the sentence for domestic assault charges, there are some aggravating factors that influence the particular sentence handed down. These aggravating factors include whether the person assaulted was a spouse or child of the alleged assailant and whether there was an abuse of a position of trust.

Age of consent in Alberta and throughout Canada

>In Canada, the age of consent for most sexual activity is 16 years of age. However, in some cases, the age of consent may be higher or lower. For instance, the age of consent is 18 if the individual is being exploited or if the individual is in a relationship of dependency. Examples of a relationship of dependency include relationships with a teacher or a coach.

Those who are 14 or 15 years of age may have a sexual relationship with anyone who is not more than five years older than that person. This exception applies only if the relationship is not one built on trust, dependency or authority. If a minor is 12 or 13 years of age, a peer group exception applies to anyone who is not more than two years older than the minor.

4 detained for alleged involvement in Alberta drug trafficking

Authorities report that four men were detained for allegedly being involved in a drug trafficking ring that operates out of Grande Prairie. The group is accused of dealing drugs in the area and surrounding communities.

Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams launched an investigation into the potential drug trafficking group in September and, with the help of Beaverlodge and Grande Prairie RCMP, executed search warrants on Nov. 13. They searched a Wembley home and four vehicles, reportedly finding more than $30,000 in cash and almost $9,000 worth of substances believed to be heroin and cocaine. The four vehicles they say were seized during the investigation were a Hummer, a Nissan Titan and two Dodge Rams. The money and vehicles are being forfeited to the Civil Forfeiture Office so that they can be used to support crime victims and policing initiatives.

What are the types of assault in Alberta?

Some Alberta residents may imagine violent physical confrontations when the subject of assault is brought up, but it is intent rather than the degree of violence that forms the basis of an assault charge. Thus, individuals may be charged with assault for making a threatening gesture to another individual even if no physical contact is made.

There are four types of assault charge in Alberta. Aggravated assault is the violent crime that many people associate with assault. An assault is considered aggravated when the action maims, disfigures or endangers life. Simple assault, on the other hand, is an unwanted touch or gesture that does not cause injury or damage.

Alberta woman sentenced in fatal drunk driving case

A 27-year-old Alberta woman has been sentenced following a car accident in which two individuals were killed. The accident occurred on Jan. 8, 2012. Both the woman's passenger and the driver of another car died after she ran a red light at Country Hill Boulevard N.W. and Shaganappi Trail.

The woman was convicted of two counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of criminal negligence causing death in May. According to authorities, her blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was almost three times the legal limit.

2 faces charges in Alberta drug raid

A 32-year-old man and his 35-year-old sister are facing drugs and weapons charges following a raid on a rental car and an apartment building in Alberta. Police say they began with a tip and spent a month investigating the case.

On Oct. 15, police seized nearly $180,000 worth of drugs including cocaine, GHB, ecstasy, MDMA, hashish, marijuana and LSD. In addition, they found almost $35,000 in Canadian currency, a cash counter, two handguns, 36 rounds of ammunition and a Mac-10 pistol plus magazine.

3 men facing charges after police chase

Three Alberta residents were taken into police custody for various criminal charges on Oct. 24. The individuals were charged after a short vehicle chase led authorities to a home in Whitecourt. Before the chase, police in Edmonton had reportedly alerted RCMP to the presence of a white Dodge truck that was suspected of being involved in an armed robbery.

While RCMP was pursuing the truck, they determined its location using tips from the public. Eventually, officers were led to a rural location close to the Blue Ridge Highway. At the property, officers found the vehicle they were looking for along with three men. Officers also found one loaded firearm, one replica firearm and unreported amounts of suspected cocaine and heroin. All three of the individuals received weapons charges.

Preventing drunk driving in Alberta

Alberta residents may benefit from learning more about the Ministry of Transportation's initiatives and penalties, which are used in an effort to minimize drunk driving offences. The province implemented impaired driving laws during 2012 to help reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities and injuries occurring on the roadways. Motorists who refuse to submit to a sobriety test or those determined to be criminally impaired, typically face worse penalties. The new laws increased penalties for drivers registering a blood alcohol content level of at least .05 or .08 percent.

The new legislation attempted to mitigate drunk driving by requiring more ignition interlock devices and mandatory corrective driving courses. Alberta officials decided that increased fines and demerit points were not as effective in achieving a significant change in drivers' behaviour. While ensuring safer travel on Alberta's roadways, officials maintain that the 2012 amendments do not prevent responsible residents from enjoying a few drinks with friends. The enhanced drunk driving penalties were designed to account for repeat offenders and first-time offenders as well.

Man sentenced for assault charges after 17-year exile

On Oct. 10, a man in Alberta received a sentence for charges that were almost two decades old. According to the fugitive apprehension unit of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, the man lived in his basement for 17 years while he was wanted on a warrant for assault charges. During that time, the man cared for his children while his wife worked.

In 1995, the then 33-year-old man was accused of committing several violent crimes while working as a mid-level drug dealer. Believing he had been robbed of two pounds of marijuana, the accused man allegedly beat a 29-year-old man and killed his dog with the help of other gang members. A few weeks later, the man allegedly cut the same man's fingers and threatened to kill him if he alerted police.