Criminal Law – Impaired Driving

This guide provides key resources related to Impaired Driving Offences in Canada. It also includes materials dealing with non-criminal impaired driving offences within the legislation of the province of Alberta. Topics in this guide include:

  • Defences
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Impaired driving devices
  • Sentencing/Penalties

Other related subject guides include:


Available in Alberta Law Libraries

Last revised Apr. 25, 2024

Annotated Legislation

Case Law

For more information on finding cases see our research guide : Finding and researching cases.



Alberta Court Judgments

A collection of the judgments of the Alberta Courts is available from CanLII. The official version of the reasons for judgment is the signed original or handwritten endorsement in the court file. If there is a question about the content of a judgment, the original court file takes precedence.



The Canadian Abridgment available on: Westlaw Canada

All Canadian Summaries, Canadian Case Summaries and Canada Digest are available on: LexisAdvance® Quicklaw®

Print Resources

Drinking, Drugs and Driving Law




       *Especially s 253 to s 261

  • s 253 –         Operation while impaired
  • s 254 –         Definitions, Testing for presence of alcohol or a drug, etc.
  • s 254.1 –      Regulations
  • s 255 –         Punishment
  • s 256 –         Warrants to obtain blood samples
  • s 257 –         No offence committed
  • s 258 –         Proceedings under section 255
  • s 259-260 –  Prohibitions
  • s 261 –         Stay of order pending appeal

Regulated Regulations under the Criminal Code

Federal Acts and Regulations can be found electronically at:



Canadian Encyclopedic Digest

Canadian encyclopedic digest (C.E.D.) (Western), 4th ed.

Sections related to Impaired Driving include:

  • Constitutional Law. 
  • Criminal law – Defences.
  • Criminal law – Offences.
    • Driving Offences
  • Criminal Law – Procedure. 
  • Motor Vehicles. 
  • Sentencing.
    • Driving Offences

The CED provides discussion of these areas of law with annotations to legislation and case law.  Additional information may be found by searching the indexes or database using the keywords “impaired driving,”  “driving while impaired,” “breathalyzer,” “breath sample,” “blood sample,” etc.

Also available electronically through: Westlaw Canada

Halsbury's Laws of Canada

Halsbury’s laws of Canada is a multi-volume set includes coverage of Federal, Provincial & Territorial legislation.

Also available electronically through: LexisAdvance® Quicklaw®

Titles related to Impaired Driving include:

Additional information may be found under other topical headings.



  • LexisAdvance® Quicklaw® includes Impaired Driving NetLetter by the Hon. Justice Joseph F. Kenkel and other materials.
  • Westlaw Canada includes Segal’s Motor Vehicle and Impaired Driving Newsletter and contains a collection of Canadian journals and law reviews, as well as all articles and case comments appearing in Carswell law reports.
  • HeinOnline – includes the Criminal Law Quarterly and Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal JusticeProvides full-text access to Canadian and international law reviews and legal journals.
  • vLex Justis


Last revised Apr. 6, 2023

Disclaimer: As law librarians, we are pleased to provide you this resource for information and research purposes only – It is not a substitute for professional legal advice. We strive to bring you quality and current information in this resource, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, accessibility, adequacy, or completeness of the information presented here. The sources featured are selected based on professional assessment and opinion, and do not constitute an endorsement, editorial, review, or guarantee.