Lawyer speaks out on drunk driving laws

A lawyer who specializes in drunk driving law says Alberta is "extorting guilty pleas."

Danusia Bourdon released a report looking back over the now year old tougher Impaired Driving law.

Key to the new law is that police can take away your license if you've been charged with drinking and driving - and keep it until the matter is resolved in court.

Bourdon says that can take upwards of a year - so some people decide to plead guilty thinking "it's just a traffic violation" - but ..

It's not. It's something that's going to give people a criminal record which has far reaching consequences for travel, for their jobs and for all kinds of things. You have people coming into court who literally on their first appearance saying, I just need to get this over with, I need to plea guilty because I need my license.

Bourdon says the province is using a loophole to legislate federal criminal laws, and worse, is punishing people before they've been found guilty of any crime.