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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 20)

Free the weed, hammer the drivers?

Free the Weed, Hammer the Drivers?

With the election of Justin Trudeau, the legalization of marijuana in Canada is looking less like a pipe dream and more like a reality. But getting there won't be easy and there will be many variables and factors to work out over time. For instance, if marijuana is legalized, the issue of marijuana-impaired driving is one that will need to be addressed. We have already seen Colorado and Washington struggle with this issue. So how would BC cope? If we free the weed, will we hammer the drivers? Where will we draw the line?[pullquote] Will the provincial government want to go...

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Justice – swift, severe, and all in 30 minutes or less

Justice - swift, severe at the OSMV

We’ve written before about some of the ways that RoadSafetyBC’s tribunal impedes access to justice. The seven-day time limit to file for review of the IRP (with currently no opportunity for an extension) is a good example of this. Or the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles recent decision to no longer allow for supplemental submissions after the close of the hearing, even if it takes them two years to render your decision.[pullquote]But what happens if you cannot fit your submissions in to 30 minutes? What if you have a complex, technical, scientific and legal argument...

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What it’s like to win an IRP?

What it's like to win an IRP

In a recent blog post, we celebrated our success as the Champions of IRP Defence. We’ve earned that title. Recent statistics show that in some months we succeed in more IRP review hearings than all other BC law offices and self-represented individuals COMBINED. (freaky) [pullquote]We have heard everything from screams of joy, to tears, to public celebrations, to shocked silence and the phone hitting the floor. [/pullquote] We are clearly very serious about winning, and we love our jobs. So we thought it might be fun to share with you what it’s like to win an IRP. We want to win an IRP for...

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The fine print on BC DUI driving suspensions

The fine print on IRP DUI suspensions

When we reviewed the documents we recently obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests we got pretty angry. Usually we're angry because we see that the BC Government seems to go through extreme machinations to avoid giving us the documents that we request concerning BC DUI driving suspensions. But this time we were angry about something else.[pullquote]The Government didn't create the IRP scheme to help people get their IRP revoked.[/pullquote] Two recent FOIs dealt with two different issues but they shed light on a third issue. In one package of documents we could count up and see how many Immediate...

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A government in opposition to its citizens

A government in opposition to its citizens

On October 16, 2015, in the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Goodwin and Wilson, Justice Minister Suzanne Anton delivered the following statement: “Our belief is that the amendments our government made in June 2012 already address the constitutional issues noted in the court’s decision, and our intention is that the IRP program continue without interruption.” It’s a careful statement. Of course, the “constitutional issues,” as she phrased it, actually refer to a very powerful victory for B.C. citizens and a very significant defeat for the B.C. government.[pullquote]the Superintendent now, on its own initiative, can assist itself to challenge...

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A new low for the BC Government and the IRP scheme

New low for the BC Government

We knew this would happen. We knew it was only a matter of time. As a scandal about hiding evidence swirls around them, we have a new low for the BC Government and the IRP scheme. And it's another trick.[pullquote]We believe this is unconstitutional. We believe these provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act create a bias, in that the Superintendent is now an investigator and prosecutor in his own case.[/pullquote] The BC Government has enacted by Regulation another round of the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act that were set out in Bill 15. Although there are several amendments that are still...

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Why many people lose their IRP hearing

BC drivers want to know why many people lose their IRP hearing

We collect a lot of internal BC Government documents by various means. Most of the documents that we obtain are from RoadSafetyBC dealing with IRP Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for drunk driving.[pullquote]The BC Government is downright gleeful about it. You see, it's a trick. It catches most people who get an IRP. Not only is it a trick, it's a trap.[/pullquote] It's fascinating what we learn pouring through internal Government documents. For example, in the most recent big story about unlawfully issued IRPs that we broke a few weeks ago, the material obtained indicated that the Government spent countless hours trying to...

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DUI is nothing new

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My name is Paul Doroshenko. I'm a lawyer who deals mainly with cases involving the police. My law firm, Acumen Law Corporation, is the most successful BC law firm dealing with Immediate Roadside Prohibition DUI cases. Long before I became a defence lawyer, I was a historian among other things. From the day I started as a lawyer I was involved in drunk driving defence. As a historian, I also took an interest in the history of DUI laws and the way that the police investigate impaired driving cases. One thing I can tell you is that DUI is nothing new. Before...

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What we learned from Wilson

What we learned in Wilson

When we walked out of the Supreme Court of Canada in May we talked for a moment about how we got there. We became involved with the case after the BC Court of Appeal overturned the BC Supreme Court decision. So we came in late in the day and did the best we could with what we had. We wanted to make sure that we learned as much as we could from Wilson. And we learned a lot.[pullquote]We didn't trust the Government and we were right. When RoadSafetyBC received unsworn Report to Superintendent documents, they upheld the IRPs ignoring the...

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Deleted emails and the BC Government

BC Government deleted emails

This week BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner released a scathing report about a widespread problem with BC Government employees deleting emails, rather than responding to Freedom of Information Act requests for which those emails would be considered responsive.[pullquote]It makes no sense for a police officer, who would have active and ongoing investigations covered in his email inbox, to have deleted everything all of a sudden. [/pullquote] When we read the report, we began to feel a very familiar sensation. What she was describing sounded like something we have experienced on a very regular basis when dealing with BC Government Agencies, particularly...

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