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We expect that the proposed changes to the BC Motor Vehicle Act will be enacted into law within weeks. Most of the time proposed legislation is BC becomes law with little debate in our legislature. Usually the final version of the law is identical to the one introduced at first reading. Legislation that amends laws that are already on the books are almost always difficult to sort out. They remove a word or phrase, included new sections and refer to sections that are not yet in place. It's confusing to everyone, including lawyers. The members of the legislative assembly don't often...Continue reading
The function of the legislative process in British Columbia is very disappointing to us as citizens, taxpayers and British Columbians. We've noticed that the Government issues deceptive press releases, introduces a bill and then passes it within weeks with little or no discussion in our legislature. It turns out that it's all a fait accompli. The decisions are made behind closed doors. The quality of the debate in our provincial house is abysmal. The MLAs seem to have little understanding of the laws that they pass. It's not what we we're told we're getting living in a democracy.[pullquote]If you want...Continue reading
A YouTube video of a Vancouver police sergeant, who smashed a motorist's window, has raised questions about the rights drivers have when they are pulled over by police. The testy exchange caught on video shows the unidentified driver opening his window just a crack and infuriating the police officer by not stepping out of the vehicle when he was told to do so. No justification for police behaviour: Legal expert A B.C. criminal lawyer who specializes in impaired driving says the police violated the driver's rights by failing, at least in the video, to tell the driver why he was pulled over. "You can't...Continue reading
KAMLOOPS – New legislation proposed by the B.C. Liberals this week throws out the presumption of innocence and instead presumes people accused of impaired driving are guilty until they prove otherwise, says a Vancouver defence lawyer specializing in impaired driving. Lawyer Kyla Lee says the proposed legislation must be challenged. "In every case now people are basically going to have to provide persuasive evidence about their drinking pattern and about what their blood alcohol level would be. It’s an incredible burden to put on people," Lee says adding she and co-workers plan to challenge the law’s constitutionality if it passes. If a person...Continue reading
VICTORIA — B.C.’s justice minister admits the government’s contentious drunk driving penalties may again be challenged as unconstitutional after proposed changes this week. New legislation will make it mandatory for repeat offenders to be referred to remedial programs, including the ignition interlock system that requires a person to blow into a breathalyzer before a vehicle starts. “Yes, it may very well be challenged,” Justice Minister Suzanne Anton said Tuesday of the changes. Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko, who has spearheaded past legal challenges to the law, said he thinks government is trying to eliminate the review process for immediate roadside prohibitions. “This changes the landscape...Continue reading