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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 44)

Immediate Roadside Prohibition for Fail

Immediate Roadside Prohibition for Fail due to mouth alcohol

If you received an Immediate Roadside Prohibition for Fail and you're wondering how it could happen bearing in mind how little you had to drink, the answer may be that you had some alcohol in your mouth. One of the main problems with Fail IRPs is that none of the roadside breathalyzers can differentiate alcohol that is expelled from your lungs from alcohol that may be in your mouth. The simple fact is that if you have any alcohol in your mouth the reading will be elevated and not accurately reflect your actual blood-alcohol content. Approved Screening Devices (ASDs) used at the...

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Snap!

When the ASD snaps, you're in big trouble

If you just received an Immediate Roadside Prohibition for blowing Fail or Warn, you may remember hearing a snap or click sound when you blew into the ASD. The sound indicates that the sample has been captured and, if the ASD is functioning properly, the analysis of the sample will then begin. The Alco-Sensor IV DWF Screener ASD sucks a tiny sample of breath from a tube that runs from the mouthpiece and vents out the back of the device. Before the ASD can accept a sample, the operator must depress the Set button which pulls back two springs and inserts...

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Fireworks

Like the IRP scheme, fireworks are momentarily impressive

The annual Celebration of Light fireworks display is on in Vancouver, and each year we have a number of clients either arrested or issued an Immediate Roadside Prohibition on these evenings. The Vancouver Police have lamented recently that drinking and driving seems to be on the increase based on the number of people whom they have issued IRPs in the last few weeks. From this you could conclude that the IRP scheme isn't working. If drinking and driving is increasing, then perhaps IRPs are to blame. Of course the IRP scheme doesn't work to deter drinking drivers. If you're wealthy and you...

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Very important IRP update

IRP Update

This is the important IRP update that you have been expecting if your Immediate Roadside Prohibition, RDP and Interlock have been deferred pending the court challenge. As we expected, we received a letter from the Legal Services Branch of the Justice Minister’s office (formerly the Attorney General) indicating where they see things proceeding from here for people who have challenged their Fail 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions in court. The letter is in respect of anyone who appealed their case based on the November 30, 2011, Sivia ruling. The letter was sent to us by fax at 4:31 p.m. Friday afternoon. This is...

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What happens if people don’t challenge an unlawful law?

Unlawful law makes the government into bullies like with Immediate Roadside Driving Prohibitions in BC

The chatter about the July 12 Sivia ruling is stepping up among the legal community. One of the issues that a number of people have pointed out is that those who took it upon themselves to challenge the law -- an unlawful law, should be rewarded for their courage and compensated for their losses. They stepped forward to say that the Government and the Courts need to honour the constitution. And the Court agreed that they were right to challenge the law. But what would happen had these people who fought the law not stepped forward? The Sivia decision tells us...

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Successful IRP reviews

Successful IRP reviews

Since the new version of the IRP legislation came into effect June 15, 2012, we have had a number of successful IRP reviews. We're happy for these clients. Unfortunately, however, what we have concluded is that the claim that there would be a more thorough review process was simply a lie. The process is actually worse, if you can believe it. The reasoning in the decisions reveals a coordinated attempt to thwart the intent of the Spencer decision and the first Sivia decision. This is unfortunate, because it means that we will be taking many of the review decisions to...

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Pound of flesh

Justice is fickle, fleeting and sometimes you don't get any

Yes, the scheme was unlawful. Yes, the Government admitted it was faulty. Yes, there was no opportunity for a substantive review (and still isn't). But the Court ruled that, despite the law having been unlawful, everyone is punished nevertheless. And now the Government is going to want its pound of flesh. Although an appeal is in the works, we expect to receive letters this week from the OSMV and the Attorney General telling us that their intention is to re-prohibit many people from driving and force payment of the fines, for the Interlock, etc. The Government wants your money. What is the...

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No meaningful review yet no remedy

No remedy given by the court. No justice for the people affected.

On July 12 (yesterday) the Court ruled that despite the earlier finding that the first version of the IRP law for Fail could not stand, that decision would not provide any relief to people who received their IRP before November 30, 2011. The BC Supreme Court will permit no remedy for the violation of your Charter rights. Bearing in mind the very long time that it took to get the November 30, 2011 ruling, it seems very unfair to us. Simply put, if the Court had issued the ruling in July 2011, thousands of people would not have been punished under...

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When you thought it might be over

The judge ruled today that despite the law being a violation of the Charter such that you could not have a meaningful review, there is no remedy. The Court said: Because the declaration of invalidity is prospective, the petitioners are not entitled to the monetary and personal remedies that they seek as the law was valid at the time it applied to the petitioners and that is an answer to the petitioners’ damages claims and claims for return of monies and other expenses. You can read the decision here. We are considering what this means for our clients bearing in mind that a...

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Decision Thursday July 12

The lawyers who argued the remedy arguments in Sivia were contacted today and informed that the decision will be posted on the BC Supreme Court website at 10:30 Thursday, July 12. We've been asked to speculate. One thing seems likely -- the decision will probably be appealed. For the court this is an issue of law. For the Government it is a matter of political survival. For those who suffered under the old 90-day IRP scheme for Fail, this may end up being another unnecessary hurdle. We will post an update with a link to the decision tomorrow morning and further updates...

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