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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 35)

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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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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