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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 60)

Hard Work

Hard work? Vancouver police surf porn

From time to time we hire private investigators to assist us and all are former police detectives. One common thing they tell us is that they did not know what hard work was until they had to produce results for a client. Policing, we are told, is a lot of drinking coffee and socializing and then wondering why the files are stacking up. Of course, there are many hard working police officers. But you cannot blame us for being cynical when so many in the Vancouver Police Department were recently been found to have spent their time at work cruising porn...

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The New Breathalyzer

The police in British Columbia are now introducing a new breathalyzer, the Intox EC/IR II. The first one we know of is at the West Vancouver Police detachment. The device performs the same function as the BAC Datamaster, i.e. analyzing the alcohol content in breath exhaled into the instrument and then calculating a blood/alcohol concentration. But this unit employs 2 methods of analyzing the sample. Like the BAC Datamaster, the device has an infrared sensor to measure the diffusion in a chamber containing a captive sample of breath. It also has an electrochemical fuel cell, like the Alco-Sensor IV to provide...

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News-Packed Start to the Week

Monday was a big news day and so we have a lot to cover. We'll start with the big Government flip-flop. Right after the Vancouver riot of 2011, the Premier announced that the Government would televise the hearings of those charged with committing offences during the riot. From our perspective it was a poorly considered policy made purely for political gain. We had a number of concerns. Firstly, we had people contact us who may be suspects in the riot who were unwilling to present themselves to the police bearing in mind that the Government was threatening to broadcast their trial. Of...

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7-Day Extension Update

When the OSMV (Part of the Ministry of Solicitor General) stopped rendering decisions on all letters requesting an extension of the 7-day review period to file for an IRP review, we filed a Petition to get a mandamus order from Court forcing them to start rendering decisions. When the Attorney General's office contacted us to discuss the matter, we learned that the OSMV on their own initiative simply stopped rendering these decisions, denying all of the applicants their right to have their matter considered.  As far as the Attorney General's office was concerned, the OSMV needed to get back to...

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ICBC Advice

Over the past few weeks we have received a number of calls from people seeking clarification about what they were told by ICBC or the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. We have heard reports of people who have called ICBC or the OSMV and were informed that they can attend at ICBC and pick up their drivers licenses without installing the Interlock or taking the Responsible Drivers Program. When they actually get to ICBC, however, they find out that this is untrue and are asked to pay to register in these programs. The advice people are given is inappropriate. Agents...

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Port Moody ASD Update:

Port Moody Update

A while back we broke the story that Approved Screening Devices (ASD) used by the Port Moody Police Department were not being calibrated properly. As a result of our having gone public with this information, the Port Moody Police announced that they had an external unit investigate their actions. They never acknowledged that there was a problem with their ASD calibration. We wanted to know more. So we made a Freedom of Information Request to the Port Moody Police asking for all the information they had about the steps they had taken to address the problem. We received an incomplete but...

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Traffic Violations and Your Driving Record

Traffoc Violations and your driving record

Many people do not realize the impact that a traffic ticket can have on their driving record. A Novice or Learner driver, in particular, is at a great risk for having a license suspension with even one driving infraction. The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has the power to suspend the driver’s license of any person if it is of the opinion that the driving record is unsatisfactory and a prohibition is in the public interest. This broad power is to be used at the discretion of the Superintendent. This means that any time you receive a conviction for...

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Refusal IRPs

Refusal IRP

Earlier this week we announced that the Sivia case has been appealed. One aspect of this appeal relates to the Court’s decision that IRPs for refusing or failing to comply with an ASD test are constitutional. In our view, they are not. Not even close. Even though the Sivia case is under appeal, the police are still issuing Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for refusal. We also have clients who have filed Petitions to the Court after their failure to blow IRPs were upheld on review. The Government is refusing to grant stays of driving prohibitions and other consequences for individuals who received refusal...

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3, 7 and 30-day Immediate Driving Prohibitions for Warn

IRP for Warn

The most repugnant aspect of the IRP scheme in our view is the reliance on Approved Screening Devices for punishment. ASDs were never intended to be the basis of punishment. Firstly, the test is taken in violation of sections 10(a) and 10(b) of the Charter of Rights. Because of the Charter violations the courts have consistently concluded that the results cannot be used against an accused for punishment or to speak to the physical state of the accused. The results can only be used by an officer to form an opinion regarding whether to take further action. So there are limits...

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Time is up

As we have explained before, many British Columbians are waiting for decisions on their request to extend the 7-day period to file to review their IRP. Until earlier this week there was a moratorium on rendering these decisions. Either the Government instructed the OSMV to stop rendering decisions or the OSMV took it upon themselves to stop rendering decisions. In any event, we believe that this was an effort to block people from accessing the Court to obtain justice. Some background: On November 30, 2011, the BC Supreme Court ruled that the law where you were issued a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition...

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