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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 52)

Fewer drunk drivers caught since B.C. law struck down – CTV News

[caption id="attachment_16538" align="alignnone" width="450"] Paul Doroshenko being interviewed on CTV.[/caption] Despite the province's pledge to keep the pressure on drunk drivers, the number of people caught over the limit has plummeted in the months since part of B.C.'s new drunk-driving law was struck down. In November, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that the immediate 90-day driving bans for people who blow a "fail" in roadside tests were unconstitutional because there wasn't a fair appeal process. In the fallout, the province promised that drunk drivers would still be caught and charged the old way -- through the Criminal Code. Since then, an average...

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Accused drunk drivers get new ways to challenge penalties – CTV News

The B.C. government has rolled out its court-ordered adjustments to the province's tough drunk-driving law, promising that drivers who blow over the legal limit will have more chances to challenge their readings. The proposed changes come in response to a November B.C. Supreme Court ruling that part of the law was unconstitutional because it was too harsh and lacked a "meaningful review process." Drivers will also be able to challenge the reliability of the breathalyzer that failed them and police will have to submit documentation proving the instruments have been properly calibrated. Internal police documents obtained by lawyer Paul Doroshenko last year...

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New IRP Legislation Introduced

As most people know, the Government has introduced the proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to bring back "Fail" 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions, also known as IRPs or Automatic roadside driving prohibitions. You can find the press release here and the proposed legislation here. Apparently the press release was issued, there was a statement from the Minister, and then she refused to answer questions. We can understand why she would want to get out of there. The media are now well-armed with questions that the Government understandably would like to never answer. First, the Garbage: The Minister said that the Reports will...

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B.C. drunk driving roadside test laws change – CBC News

The B.C. government has introduced new driving laws that it says will enhance fairness for drivers accused of being impaired and increase public confidence. But critics are unsure the proposed changes will stand up in court and say the earlier bad laws could cost the government millions of dollars in refunds. Lawyer Paul Doroshenko, who has several clients who lost their drivers licenses and paid thousands in fees, said the court has ruled the automatic suspensions are unlawful and the government needs to pay that money back. Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/05/03/bc-impaired-driving-law-changes.html...

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Incentives in the justice system

We do not have awards ceremonies for the judges who convict the most people, or who send the greatest number of people to jail in a year. There is no such thing as a Bankie Award for the judge who renders the most decisions in favour of banks in civil suits. And this is all very simple -- the reason we do not reward outcomes such as this is because it would make the judges a party interested in the outcome of the litigation. The system would be patently unfair. The party making the decision, the judge, would have an...

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FOI Results Published Online

When the Spencer decision was rendered, we wanted to see if anything changed to address the concerns raised by the Court. We noticed temporary staffing changes at the OSMV, but no change to the general way IRP hearings, and in particular hearings for refusals were being handled and decided. We made two Freedom of Information requests to try to sort out what was happening. We requested training material, and in particular training material that has been prepared since Spencer was released, and a copy of all Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) review decisions where the allegation was of refusal to blow. So far...

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It Doesn’t Make Sense

Most of the criminal cases we deal with are resolved in Provincial Criminal Court with as little attention as possible and without any lingering questions. This is the way we like it. The nice thing about the court in BC is that, even if you disagree with the outcome, it still usually makes sense. Until the IRP scheme came into place, this is the way we thought of the law in Canada -- it is not always what we would like it to be, but it still makes sense. If you have been through an IRP review, then you know that...

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Challenging Established Beliefs

Challenging established beliefs

If you challenge conventional dogma, you run the risk of being labeled a heretic and you face a midnight arrest and subsequent show trial. If you follow the example of Socrates and defend yourself to the embarrassment of the authorities, you can expect them to come down hard on you. If you partially recant, like Galileo, you may get off easy. But of course, Galileo lived in different times. And when he explained that the earth orbits the sun, the evidence was there for all to see. People knew or suspected that the accepted dogma was likely mistaken. It had become commonly...

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