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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 34)

Steve Martin has quit

Steve Martin has quit his job as the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles

This is big news if you follow the twists and turns of the IRP story. Steve Martin has quit his job as the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. With only weeks to go before the provincial election, Mr. Martin quit last Tuesday and accepted another position in the Government. We only confirmed this for ourselves a few moments ago when it was reported in the Vancouver Sun. As a career move it was probably a good time for him to quit. The NDP could win the upcoming election and we know that a number of NDP candidates share our view of the IRP...

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IRP appeals now before the courts

IRP Appeal Files

There are three important IRP appeals now winding their way through the courts that have the prospect of changing the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme in a significant manner. Last week the BC Court of Appeal heard arguments on one of the appeals dealing with the IRP scheme as it was used in BC between September 20, 2010 and November 30, 2011. We posted some updates about this last week and we noticed that many people were confused about which appeal was actually being heard. It's understandable that people would be confused. We've been dealing with the IRP scheme since it was...

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Predictions on the IRP appeal

IRP appeal

In our office we've made our predictions on the IRP appeal. We have ideas on what we think should happen, and what we think will happen. We were surprised when the lawyers opposing the IRP scheme abandoned some arguments. Nevertheless, we've made our predictions and now we've stopped taking bets. The IRP appeal is underway. We have a good track record on predicting the future. Still, we're keeping our predictions in sealed envelopes in a safe buried 30 meters under our office. There's no point now in trying to guess what the decision will be. And one way or another, it...

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The IRP appeal has been adjourned – UPDATED

IRP appeal adjourned

(UPDATE) Apparently there was an issue with respect to who was a party to the litigation and which lawyers could make submissions on the appeal. One of the litigants has died and another decided against proceeding. So the issue was who should be there to make submissions. We have now been told that the matter is set to proceed on Tuesday March 19, 2013.   As we indicated in our earlier post, there are so many legal issues in the IRP scheme (go back and read our blog for details) that it's a mess to sort out. The appeal of the scheme was set...

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The IRP appeal

The IRP appeal

It's a bad system to be punishing people on the basis of roadside breath testers. That's the message that we've been trying to get out ever since the Immediate Roadside Prohibition / IRP scheme was introduced. Last week it hit the newspapers that a huge number of the IRPs that were revoked in December 2012 were in fact revoked due to unreliable breath samples. We can take the credit for this. Most of the review decisions simply say that "I am not satisfied that the ASD used in your case was reliable." In many cases the lawyer or person who succeeded...

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News on the IRP front

News on the IRP front

We have been unusually busy in our office for the last few weeks and consequently there have been fewer blog posts. Sorry about that. Thanks for sticking with us. There have been a number of interesting developments concerning Immediate Roadside Prohibitions in the last week. First, about the interlock: Interlock and "Remedial" Programs: As expected the OSMV hasn't responded to requests to reconsider the original automatic referral to the so-called remedial programs, i.e. interlock and Responsible Driver Program, for people who received 90-day IRPs. So today we are filing the first of a number of Petitions for mandamus orders to compel the OSMV...

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Breathalyzer machines used by police are error-prone

Error-prone breathalyzers are inaccurate

Breath-analysis machines used by police forces across B.C. are incapable of differentiating between mouth and blood alcohol, are prone to human error and should not be used to issue immediate roadside driving suspensions, according to a leading forensic scientist. Those findings are outlined in an affidavit prepared by Nizar Shajani, a Burnaby-based forensic scientist who worked for the RCMP for 12 years and who has written numerous studies on blood-alcohol testing. “They’re supposed to be screening devices,” Mr. Shajani said about the machines in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “Screening devices when the police suspect there is alcohol in the...

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BC becoming a police state

BC becomes a police state

As we've noted before, the police are always the first to advocate for a police state. And as we've noted before, the IRP scheme is a long step down that slippery slope toward a society governed by the police rather than governed by law. Emboldened by their power to issue IRPs (on crappy evidence) and seize vehicles on a mere allegation of excessive speeding, the police have now started to warn us about their next move. They want to take your cell phone if they think you were using it while your car is in gear. On the mere allegation of...

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The BCLiberals have fallen and they can’t get up

BC Liberals have fallen

This is a great title for an editorial: Clark's B.C. Liberals are circling the drain. Poll numbers show that the B.C. Liberals have fallen well behind the NDP even before the recent ethnic strategy scandal. And as a result many pundits are predicting the end of the Government, i.e. the BCLiberal Government. At the same time the pundits are also hedging their bets because things can change quickly in an election. We think that the NDP will take the election (about 9 weeks away) simply because the BCLiberals have been so arrogant. Rather than thinking about good public policy, it seems...

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Top 10 reasons people dislike BC’s IRP laws

Top 10 reasons people dislike BC's IRP laws

10.  Judge, jury, executioner. Although this is a common complaint, the police have no discretion under the law. So in a sense there is no judge or jury. 9.  Punishment long before any hearing. Most people are prohibited for 21 days or thereabouts before they get a decision from the tribunal. So in essence you are sentenced before your hearing. 8.  Charter Rights not protected. The OSMV tribunal doesn't grant remedies for violations of Charter Rights so the police know they can disregard your rights without fear of consequence. 7.  No indication of what the blood-alcohol level might have been. The ASDs used in BC don't tell...

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