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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 32)

Automatic Prohibition? Criminal DUI?

Automatic Prohibition DUI

What's in a name? When it comes to drinking and driving law, a great deal is contingent on the words that are used. For example, in the legislation that introduced the Immediate Roadside Prohibition law, an IRP is actually called an Automatic Roadside Prohibition.  So instead of IRP you may see in some documents a discussion of an ARP,  ARPs or an Automatic Prohibition from Driving. What happened was that after the law was written, somebody in the Government noticed that if you called this new DUI an "Automatic Prohibition" you couldn't blow this piece-of-crap law past a judge. Courts aren't in...

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New Driver with an IRP

Class 7 "N" new driver with DUI? We can help

It's awful being a New Driver in BC. If you've got an “N” and you're accused of driving after drinking, you've got a big problem. In BC the graduated license program is akin to having an axe above your head with a hair release. If you're a Novice / New Driver, i.e. you have an "N" and you get a ticket for the most minor infraction, you can expect the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to pull your license. We think it's cruel. A graduated license program can make sense, but the way it's implemented in BC is just...

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IRP law off to the Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme Court of Canada

We mentioned the other day that the first version of the IRP law, i.e. the BC Court of Appeal decision in Sivia, is being appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. We noted with interest that within a day or so of us mentioning this on Twitter, articles appeared in the Vancouver Sun and then journalists at Global TV reported on it. With the old IRP law off to the Supreme Court of Canada, we wonder what the future holds. The first step is whether the Court grants leave to appeal. Cavalierly we suggested that the Court will surely grant leave...

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SNAFU update 3 for old IRPs

Old IRPs are now a confusing maze

Of course, the first version of the IRP scheme was found unlawful in two levels of court in BC. Now the case is heading to the Supreme Court of Canada. And at the same time, people who were punished under the unconstitutional law are being punished again because the OSMV has sent them notice that they must serve the balance of their driving prohibitions starting as of April 3, 2014. Was it a trick to wait until the 30 days had expired? You might think that bearing in mind that we asked the government lawyers the direct question and received vague...

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Update 2 re: IRP 1 SNAFU

Between a rock and a hard place with your IRP

This is an update to two of our previous blog posts; SNAFU at the OSMV affecting some people with old IRPs and SNAFU update for old IRPs. You'll need to start with those two posts to understand this IRP 1 SNAFU update.  Also, this only applies to IRPs issued between September 20, 2010 and November 30, 2011. The update: On Friday May 2, 2014, we received word that leave for appeal has been sought to the Supreme Court of Canada on the Sivia decision. Both sides have appealed the lower court rulings, so we expect that the Supreme Court of Canada will...

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We don’t trust the police

We don't trust the police in BC or their breathalyzers

After years of defending drinking and driving cases, and after having reviewed studies, reports and disclosure in thousands of DUI cases, and after having conducted hundreds of breath tests with a dozen different police breathalyzers, you might think that we've gained more confidence in the reliability of breathalyzer testing. But that's not the case. What we've found and learned over the years raises concerns that would have never crossed our minds a decade ago. We no longer have any confidence in breath testing to determine blood-alcohol content, or blood tests for that matter. We don't trust the police and we...

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Known breathalyzer defects

Breathalyzer defects are common but unreported

Lots of people who are stopped for DUI assume that they were over the limit because the machine said so. It's a funny thing, but it's difficult for people to wrap their head around the idea that breathalyzers don't measure their blood. They measure the alcohol in your breath and extrapolate to estimate the alcohol in your blood. There is a margin of error for these devices, and often enough the readings fall outside the margin of error. They can appear to be functioning, and yet the readings can be wrong every time. There may be unknown problems in a...

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SNAFU update for old IRPs

Old IRPs with a stay pending Sivia

Yesterday, Bluehost, the company that hosts our website had a catastrophic failure that took thousands of websites offline. Consequently for most of the day our site was down and we couldn't receive emails. We apologize to our readers and clients. SNAFU goes to Court At the beginning of the week we explained the SNAFU at the OSMV affecting some people with old IRPs. The lawyers who are running the Sivia appeal had a number of their old IRP cases added to the court list in BC Supreme Court yesterday afternoon to argue that the orders should still be in place and their...

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SNAFU at the OSMV affecting some people with old IRPs

SNAFU at the OSMV and the shit hits the fan

Last week there was a SNAFU at the OSMV that we're still trying to sort out. This affects some people with old IRPs. If the driver received an IRP before November 30, 2011, and then had a lawyer secure a court order putting the driving prohibition into abeyance until Sivia is resolved, the driver may be affected by the SNAFU at the OSMV. We're still piecing things together, but from what we can determine this is what happened: Old IRPs in abeyance: The first version of the IRP scheme was found unconstitutional on November 30, 2011. In the months leading up to that...

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