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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 48)

Deceived by the government

People being deceived by the Government of BC

We have been contacted by a few people recently who told us that they have been deceived by the Government and consequently they lost their Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) review hearing. They're angry and they want to do something about it. And we're sympathetic. What these people are telling us is that they received a 90-day IRP and they wanted to dispute it because they felt that they were not guilty or that the police made mistakes that should cause the prohibition to be lifted. Doing their due diligence, they researched the matters on the internet, including the BC Government website. The...

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False positives for alcohol on an ASD

False positives for alcohol due to mouth alcohol

Quite often using Alco-Sensor IV DWF Screeners in our office we obtained false positives for alcohol. What happens is that a drinking subject blows, and quickly thereafter a non-drinking subject is tested and the unit provides a reading indicating some amount of alcohol. In other words, the unit is either malfunctioning or it has retained alcohol in the sample chamber. The problem with this is that the alcohol from the later sample will simply combine with the alcohol from the first sample. And the danger is that a person who has had nothing to drink may be called a liar for...

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Appealing IRP update

IRP update for those who received Immediate Roadside Prohibitions

We've been holding back on an IRP update for a few weeks because it's important to protect the position of our clients. Many people follow our blog, including people who lament and oppose our efforts to expose the system. So we try to balance the need to keep our cards close and keep people informed. And our supporters need to recognize that we are advocates, and we try to be careful to use what we know to the greatest effect. Which means sometimes we wait to see how things are playing out, sometimes we speak out right away and sometimes...

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Standard police procedure

Abbotsford_Vancouver_police

As criminal lawyers we have seen many cases where people have been treated terribly by the police. We've come to see this as standard police procedure, although any police force would understandable deny this. However, from time to time it gets on the news, usually when there’s someone who manages to catch the police in the act with a video camera. Such was the case late last week when a member of Vancouver's finest, i.e. the Vancouver Police Department, gratuitously kicked a suspect in the chest. You can watch the video on CBC's website. You should watch the video. The suspect is handcuffed,...

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Trial lawyers

CASE CLOSED FOR THE TRIAL LAWYERS

Although we spend a lot of time defending IRPs and driving prohibitions, we are in fact trial lawyers. Much of our work takes place in court. As criminal lawyers we often negotiate plea agreements to get the best result for our clients. When a plea bargain is not in the best interests of our client or is unavailable, we gear up to go to court with the goal of succeeding at trial. This summer we've had some interesting cases, both because of the facts of the cases and the surrounding circumstances. If you've followed IRP law you know about the Spencer decision....

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British Columbia: The land that justice forgot

BC the land that justice forgot because the Government ignores the Charter of Rights

We're getting a reputation in British Columbia, but it isn't for our mountains, our pipeline flip-flopping premier or our deflating real estate bubble. It turns out that we are now being viewed as The Land That Justice Forgot. The Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme (IRP or ARP scheme - whatever you want to call it) is making us look like some backward backwater where the Charter of Rights is yet to be proclaimed. In our careful search of newspapers across Canada, not a single editorial has supported the BC Government in its quest to eliminate the Charter Rights of drivers. But regularly...

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Never-ending ASD problems

Immediate Roadside Prohibition IRP Lawyer Paul Doroshenko

When the new version of the IRP scheme came out mid June, one of the first undisclosed changes the Government also brought in was a document to hide ASD malfunctions. For over a year we identified never-ending ASD problems. To counter the evidence we disclosed, they came up with a document to hide the problems while ostensibly providing disclosure. The document, called a Certificate of Qualified ASD Calibrator, was created so that in future legal challenges to the IRP scheme the Government can claim to be providing people with a fair hearing with disclosure about the ASDs used. The document records...

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Why we defend drunk driving cases

Why we defend drunk driving cases

One question we are often asked is why we defend drunk driving cases. As lawyers we take on all sorts of different cases, from serious drug charges to personal injury cases, the occasional contract dispute and discipline proceedings when a professional is facing sanctions from a regulatory body. But more than anything we defend driving matters, and many drunk driving cases, i.e. DUIs. And there are reasons for that. For me there is a specific reason. In 1984 I was a teenager and for a few months I lived at 14232 Ravine Drive in Edmonton. One warm evening I was sitting...

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A drunk driving expert

Drunk driving expert who works with lawyers on IRP defence

When Sivia was argued the Government did not put forward evidence of a drunk driving expert, i.e. a forensic toxicologist. We weren't surprised. There are dozens of experts in the effects of alcohol, the chemistry of alcohol and the equipment used to measure alcohol concentration who work in labs for the RCMP across Canada. Many of them testify in court every day. But in the Sivia hearing the Government did not call any of them as witnesses, or present an affidavit from any of them. Why? The main reason it seems is that they could not find a toxicologist to say...

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