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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 59)

Wrong

Mistakes were made. Let's leave it at that.

The Solicitor General is wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, and so we do not hold it against her, but her knowledge of the history of ASDs in British Columbia is lacking. In the Canadian Press article from December 26, 2011, she was quoted as having written the following in an email: "These devices are highly accurate and have been in use by police in B.C. since 1977." Wrong and wrong again. By two decades. The Alcosensor IV first appears in the Criminal Code as an Approved Screening Device in 1997. They started to be widely distributed in BC in 1998. They replaced the SL-2 (we...

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Breathalyzer tests need to be reliable

A controversy in B.C. about the reliability of breathalyzers used by police in roadside tests should raise red flags in this province, too. A Vancouver lawyer's examination of the situation through access to information requests raises questions about the accuracy of such tests. Paul Doroshenko's investigation showed that in one case, a sober Abbotsford, B.C., police officer failed a breathalyzer screening while testing the machine. Doroshenko's study of documents revealed a host of problems with the machines in several B.C. communities including Vancouver, Abbotsford, Whistler, Kitimat, Kamloops and Port Moody, with none of the troubles reported to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles,...

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Media Storm & Class-Action Update

I met with CTV this morning to further explain some of the problems with ASDs following the Canadian Press story published on Boxing Day. We have a significant amount of disclosure showing problems with these devices, but understandably reporters want to cut to the most revealing. Also, much of it is hard to understand unless you know what you are looking for. Every time we receive disclosure there is something that is the talk of the office for a few days - we are shocked that these problems exist and that the police simply shrug their shoulders. Any objective person reviewing...

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Records show police alcohol monitoring equipment is malfunctioning

Records from police detachments around the province show roadside screening devices are malfunctioning or being improperly maintained says a Vancouver criminal defence lawyer. Paul Doroshenko believes this is why portable breath analyzers should never have been used to provide blood-alcohol results that allow police officers to unilaterally suspend driver’s licences for 90 days. “I’ve been so disgusted by this law. I find it so offensive that innocent people can be so punished,” Doroshenko said. Read more: http://www.theprovince.com (Articled has now been archived and is available for purchase through The Province website)...

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Pause

We are all on vacation at the moment, so we have not had a meeting to discuss the ruling. We will all be back in the office Wednesday, so you can expect a full update soon thereafter. One immediate difficulty that presents is that the Court has not limited the remedies that can be obtained for the Charter violation arising from the application of the unlawful law. Does this mean, if you get an IRP next 6 months, you can make your Petition to Court for a remedy? Why wouldn't you be able to? You still have the right to a...

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Documents cast doubt on accuracy of breathalyzers

News that a sober Abbotsford, B.C., police officer tried out the department's breathalyzer and failed the test is enough to send chills down the spine of any designated driver in this holiday season. A Vancouver lawyer says the machines police rely on to take drunk drivers off the road and deliver hefty financial penalties are notoriously faulty and things haven't improved in the year since more than 2,000 were taken out of service for recalibration. Although access to information documents show a litany of problems with the devices in Vancouver, Abbotsford, Whistler, Kitimat, Kamloops and Port Moody, none of the problems...

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