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Who We Are

The Canadian Impaired Driving Lawyers Association (also known as “CIDLA”) is a new organization created to promote excellence in thoroughly defending those charged with impaired driving and impaired driving related offences across Canada. The CIDLA serves lawyers in obtaining the knowledge, advanced training and education in successfully defending impaired-driving and related offences. The heavy burden, costs and inconvenience that occur with every impaired driving offence are extreme. The CIDLA and its members work tirelessly to protect and ensure individual rights provided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

What We Do

CIDLA is a service organization for lawyers across Canada. The purpose of CIDLA is to provide access to legal education for practicing lawyers who undertake to defend citizens accused of impaired driving and related offences. We work to make sure people receive impeccable advocacy and fair treatment when they are involved in an impaired driving or related incident. We are committed to strengthening the justice system and oppose any efforts to weaken basic legal protections that further hinder Canadian drivers. All Canadians benefit when individual lawyers represent clients and give them a fair chance and access to justice when dealing with impaired driving or related offences.

Why We Do It

Few offenses in Canada’s criminal justice process call for greater lawyer expertise than cases involving driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Impaired driving cases are especially complex because they require defense counsel to understand scientific, as well as legal processes. The legal issues are wide-ranging, involving search and seizure, due process, illegal interrogation, denial of counsel, and evidentiary issues. These legal issues intersect in an impaired driving case with scientific areas of expertise, such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and toxicology, as well as pseudo-scientific areas such as field sobriety testing. Defense counsel must also have a working understanding of the operation of breath test equipment, hospital testing equipment, and instruments utilized by forensic laboratories in the process of testing for intoxicants. We want to provide a platform where defence lawyers can find information that will help them to develop skills for trial. This includes, but is not limited to, methods for attacking field sobriety tests, breath and blood tests, making opening statements and closing arguments, learning techniques in cross-examining police officers and prosecution experts, and developing and using defense expert witnesses. Sharing this information will make it easier for defence lawyers to share their experiences and findings of law with lawyers across Canada so that lawyers can stand unified in defending the Canadian Constitution.

How We Were Founded

We were founded by a group of defense lawyers who found that there was a need for a platform specifically related to defending impaired driving and related offences in Canada. This small group are capable, experienced lawyers who dedicate a portion of their practice to the defense of impaired driving and related offences cases throughout the country. They are dedicated to the improvement of the defense bar and the dissemination of information to lawyers across the country who specialize or wish to specialize in this area of law. They work hard to vigorously defend the rights afforded to Canadians through the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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