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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 22)

New breathalyzers coming to New Westminster, but familiar problems persist

FST coming to New Westminster Police

The New Westminster Police are rolling out a new breathalyzer that’s new to British Columbia. It’s called the Alco Sensor FST, and New Westminster is the first police force in B.C. to purchase them. Criminal lawyer Paul Doroshenko says the current breathalyzers being used are a “25 year old technology.” Still, the new technology isn’t perfect either. “It’s got a lot of the same problems as the old one,” says Doroshenko. “It can’t distinguish whether it’s alcohol from your mouth or your lungs, if you’ve been smoking and you blow into it, it will damage the device, and if you burp, you will still...

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Decisions have been made

Decisions have been made about the IRP law appeals

As though we had a crystal ball, we managed to predict or foreshadow a little bit into the future with our last blog post. As it turns out, decisions have been made with respect to two of the most significant Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases that have been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. We see on the Supreme Court of Canada's website that they have indicated that the leave application decisions in Wilson and Sivia I (now usually called Goodwin which we hope is, in fact, good luck) will be released on Thursday, November 27, 2014. At this point, all...

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Really big projects we’re working on

Big Projects we're working on regarding the IRP scheme

We're a really busy law office and we like it that way because we get a lot done and we learn that much more along the way. In addition to our day-to-day work for our clients, we've also been involved in some really big projects primarily concerning challenges to aspects of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme. The big projects tend to take a lot of our time, including the free time that we might otherwise have. These are the projects which bring us back to the office many nights and most weekends. The Wilson case If you've been with us for a...

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Successful Immediate Roadside Prohibition appeals

Successful IRP appeals

Last week was a very successful week. In addition to succeeding in a number of IRP review hearings, we succeeded in two 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions appeals in BC supreme Court. These were Judicial Review appeals where our clients did not succeed in their original hearing before the RoadSafetyBC tribunal, and appealed their cases to BC Supreme Court on the basis that the adjudicator’s decision was unreasonable. These cases are important, as they help to clarify some of the procedure and law about Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. "When was your last drink?" The first case, McConachie v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) 2014...

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Financial considerations

Financial Considerations of an IRP

Money is always an issue. If you are issued an IRP, you need to sit down and do some calculations right away to figure out what it's going to cost you. 90 days without your driver's license might cost you your job. If it won't, you still need to calculate what it will cost to get around for that period. Of course there are the fines, fees, towing, storage etc. Everyone is sent to take the Responsible Drivers Program, although you may be exempted on reconsideration. If you end up with both the RDP and Interlock, you're now approaching $5000 without...

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A young man killed himself

Very sad for the Haida

The people of Haida Gwaii are tortured by sorrow and are grieving beyond words this evening because a young man killed himself. On October 18th, this young man hung himself here in Vancouver. The young man is a member of the Haida people. My understanding is that he lived much of his life in Old Massett. Speaking with some of his friends I was told that he was an outgoing, sensitive, jovial and thoughtful young man. He was very social. He played basketball and loved the game. He was devoted to the Haida Nation. Apparently he was working and studying in Vancouver....

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IRP – disproportional punishment

Get and IRP, get eaten by a bear

Attempting to explain the deficiencies of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme is a daunting task unless you're speaking to a person who has been through the IRP process. People who have had an IRP just get it. Defence lawyers, many of whom gave up in the face of the IRP scheme, know just what we're taking about. When you tell people about the many devastating malfunctions of roadside breathalyzers, they get a glazed look on their face. When you speak of the substandard (grossly substandard) review process, they assume that you're just a whiner. Once you get an IRP, however, it all...

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Go arrest some real drunk drivers!

Catch Some Real Drunk Drivers!

Here is some free legal advice: if the police detain you for drinking and driving, don't tell them to go arrest some real drunk drivers. Variations on that phrase are also not advisable, such as "go arrest some real criminals." And it's best never to mention doughnuts. We say this because from time to time we see this in DUI police reports and it's never a good thing. First of all, criticizing the police is dangerous particularly on a dark lonely road where they're holding a tazer and writing down their version of the evidence. Secondly, any variation on any of...

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