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

Follow up on Thursday’s Post Re the 7-day Period

We received a number of calls and emails Thursday about the blog post. We wrote about the 7-day period in which you could file for review and how that was designed to disadvantage people who received Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. The main purpose of the post was to explain the historic reason for the 7-day period and to shed light on how this was simply unfair when it comes to IRPs. The feedback we received indicates to us that many people missed the 7-day period, or made the then entirely rational decision to not file for a review. As we have said,...

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The 7-Day Period to Apply for Review of Your IRP

Missed 7-day review

Did you apply for a review within the 7-day period? It is the first question we need to address for every new client with a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition for ASD Fail because, to date, the interlocutory remedies are only available to people who lost on review. What does this mean? If you filed for a review of your 90-day IRP for Fail with the Office of the Superintendent by attending ICBC licensing and paying for a hearing, then we can take the review decision and file an appeal (a Petition) in Supreme Court to stop the interlock and RDP until...

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British Columbia is Broke

In case you missed it, the British Columbia Government has run a deficit for the last few years and things don't look like they'll get better any time soon. In essence, the Government spends more than it brings in each year, so it borrows money to cover day to day expenses and to pay for debt racked up in previous years. It's like using your credit card to pay your credit card bill while spending more than you earn each month. Eventually you hit the wall. Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal the USA are examples of countries where the deficits and...

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Did We Really Need to Wait Six Months?

The Government argued that if the 90-day Fail IRP scheme was lifted there would be chaos in the streets, dozens of unnecessary deaths (all DUI deaths are unnecessary) and general pandemonium. The argument was that the police in BC needed this tool because it saves lives -- that there was no other way, and therefore the Government needed the law to stay in place until June. But the police stopped using the law and they apprehended more impaired drivers over the holiday season than in typical years past. And despite the Court accepting the Government's argument and extending the application of...

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Is anyone guilty?

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Often reporters looking at ASD maintenance records in our office will ask if anyone is actually guilty. It is the kind of thing you might think for a minute when you are shocked by the problems with the devices, or you see one of the cases like Margaret MacDonald's. Of course many people are guilty. If you examine historic records of how many people blew under when taken to the detachment, perhaps 20% of people who blew Fail are innocent. When it comes to ASD refusals, we think it is more like 80%. And some Immediate Roadside Prohibitions are lifted on...

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Margaret MacDonald is Our Hero

If you missed the article in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesday, click here to read it. The article describes the ordeal of Margaret MacDonald, who received a 90-day IRP for alleged refusal following the brutal treatment one can generally expect from BC police when they conclude you are not trying to blow. We have explained the problems here and here, but Margaret MacDonald's case is somewhat different in that she refused to be shamed into silence. Simply put, she was willing to speak to the media. After being brutalized by the police, she took a taxi to a hospital and the staff...

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Petition to Appeal 90-day IRP for “Fail”

The Government can't let go - they want to control you

Part of the difficulty we have right now is anticipating what position the Court will accept when the parties go in to argue for a remedy. The Government is preparing to argue that at best you should simply get a re-hearing with the same tribunal but with one small tweak. If they are successful, then you may want to consider moving to another province. As we stated before, you can get an IRP at your kitchen table based on a retelling of 4th party hearsay of an unnamed witness alleging driving. The evidence is usually recorded as "witness said was driving."...

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Secrets We Keep

Every lawyer you meet holds secrets for hundreds or often thousands of individuals who have consulted with them over the course of their career. When a lawyer practices long enough, the secrets are then rarely extraordinary, and so they are forgotten when the brief is closed. When you have shocking information from several thousand people, you are no longer shocked, and your focus becomes what tools you have to help your client. In that sense sometimes it may seem a cold calculation to achieve the best outcome. This is one of the reasons lawyers are targets of criticism. It is impossible...

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Clearing some confusion

Confusion

We are still being contacted by people who are of the mistaken belief that they may be charged with a criminal offence if they dispute their Immediate Roadside Prohibition. Many people tell us that the police told them that they would be charged if they filed for a review. We've been clearing some confusion about IRPs since they were first introduced. Perhaps the most important thing you should know if you're considering disputing your IRP is that you cannot be charged with impaired driving or driving over 80ml in 100mg if you are issued an IRP. The reasons are simple. To charge...

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Important Tests

Some tests are more important than others

We've conducted a lot of tests over the years, often with very interesting results. We have a full size police breathalyzer in our law office in downtown Vancouver, and we usually bring one of our portable AlcoSensor IVs to parties. If we're defending a client on an impaired driving charge we will usually bring one to court whether we're in Surrey, Vancouver or Campbell River. And so we know how to use them. And because we're always conducting forensic evaluations of what happened in our client's cases, we've seen some strange breath test results. One of the problems with the DWF...

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