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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 21)

Lawyers and the IRP scheme

Lawyers and the IRP scheme. But for lawyers, there would be almost no defences

We got the sense that the Government hates lawyers. We came to this conclusion because of the crappy legal aid funding situation, legislation the Government introduced that prohibits people from being represented by a lawyer in some circumstances and utterances on BC Government websites designed to discourage people from hiring a lawyer to defend their IRP. When it comes to lawyers and the IRP scheme, we think that RoadsafetyBC (the office formerly known as the OSMV) intended, hoped and expected to undermine the authority of lawyers so it would be easier to reject drivers at their IRP appeal hearing. They didn't...

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The IRP law is bad law

The IRP law is bad law going the wrong way

We've said all along that the IRP law is bad law -- you can read several hundred of our blog posts to see our opinion on it. What always surprises us is that it was so poorly thought out by the people who wrote the law and promoted it. They did no scientific testing to determine if it was appropriate to rely on screener breathalyzers to punish people (it isn't) and they were blindsided by the legal challenges and complex legal arguments we've brought on. One of our biggest concerns, however, was that people who are tested on ASD screeners and...

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Wilson appeal – The Final Frontier

Wilson Appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada

We have filed the application for leave to appeal the Wilson decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Wilson appeal is underway. Two leading BC Supreme Court cases, Richardson and Wilson, found that the police need to have reasonable grounds to conclude that the driver is affected by alcohol in their ability to drive before the police could issue an IRP for Warn or Fail on an approved screening device. We think the logic in these two decisions is sound. Firstly, it's in the Motor Vehicle Act: 214.41(3.1) If, at any time or place on a highway or industrial road, (a) a...

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Where are the DUI roadblocks?

Where are the DUI roadblocks in BC?

We know the locations of the DUI roadblocks. It's not that we spend our time listening to our police radio scanner, or that we follow the twitter account revealing the locations of roadblocks in BC. It's just that we've read so many police reports from all around the province, and we keep a database including information about specific police officers and detachments. About a year ago we noticed that we could predict the most probable times and locations of the DUI roadblocks on any given day and it turns out that we're usually right. The implications are interesting. First of all, ...

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Government science behind the IRP scheme

There is no government science behind the IRP scheme

It's the anniversary of a dark day in the history of BC. June 15 marks the second year that the second version of the IRP scheme has been in effect. The Government would like you to think its a fait accompli at this point -- that the IRP scheme isn't going away, that they pulled it off despite the creepiness of it all. Maybe they did. Time will tell, but we'll keep up our challenges to what we see as really really bad law. Still, to be fair to the Government's position we thought that we would take a moment...

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Breathalyzer screeners: A warrantless search

warantless search

If the police conduct a search of your stuff, i.e. your house, your car, your cell phone records, they normally need to get a warrant. If they think you have a tattoo on your butt depicting the murder weapon, they would have to go to a judge, explain their case and ask for a warrant to pull down your pants so that they could get a look. If they didn’t get a warrant and just went ahead with it anyway, there’s a good chance that the court would say that the evidence obtained (a description or photos of your tattoo)...

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Breathalyzer screeners and “Your Rights”

Your rights

In Canada, except in BC, courts have accepted that there are certain restrictions on the use of evidence that the police get by violating your rights. There is an understanding that, if the police violate your rights while forcing you to blow into a screener breathalyzer, the evidence won’t be used against you for the purpose of punishing you. This is important because in Canada, except in BC, people expect that the police and the Government will respect their rights. Historically, governments and the police in Canada have been kept in check by the courts. When they wanted to take away...

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Some significant IRP cases in court

Significant IRP Cases

There have been some significant IRP cases in court in the last few weeks, and decisions from court in some key IRP cases. It's time for an update. Wilson, Richardson On Friday May 30, 2014, the BC Court of Appeal rendered a decision in the Wilson case, overturning the decision of the BC Supreme Court. Wilson came out last September, a decision of the BC Supreme Court in Kamloops concerning a Warn IRP. In Wilson the Court said that the legislation required the officer to form an opinion to issue an IRP. The opinion would have to be that the driver was...

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