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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 61)

Update on Monday’s hearing

The Court heard submissions with respect to what should happen now that the 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme has been found unconstitutional. The Justice indicated that he understood that there is a desire for a prompt decision. The issues are complex, however, so we do not expect a decision until early January at the soonest. The Government argued that the Court should suspend the implementation of the ruling until June. The Government also argued that they should be exempt from having to reimburse anyone for the fines, towing, storage, etc. For simplicity, we have broken down the Government's argument into three...

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Do you feel lucky?

Between September 20, 2010 and November 30, 2011, simply being in British Columbia was a high-stakes game of chance. If a police officer claimed that an unidentified witness claimed you drove, that was good enough to prove you were a driver. Time of driving didn't matter, so long as there was no suggestion that you drank after driving. The police could make an ASD breath demand with no evidence of alcohol consumption, because there was no remedy so long as they managed to obtain a sample. And then there's the ASD. Regularly we had people tell us that they'd either had...

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Alleged refusals and why they bother us so much

The Globe and Mail reported Saturday that the Government expects to argue that 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for refusal allegations should be untouched by the November 30th ruling. As far as we're concerned it is the 90-day scheme that was found unconstitutional, with an immediate prohibition, vehicle impoundment, RDP and interlock, fines, etc.; without an actual possibility to investigate the evidence, no decision on a hearing for two to three weeks into the punishment (or much longer), no substantive disclosure, no cross examination, no prosecutor, no Charter arguments, no face to face hearing with a legally-trained adjudicator, no publication of tribunal...

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Refusal Allegations and 90-day IRPs

A hot topic this week has been whether the Government can rely on the unlawful legislative scheme if the police allege that the subject failed or refused to blow. In other words, if they don't get a sample, can they then say that the search and seizure wasn't unreasonable because there are no results to consider? Some people are wondering if the Government is going to ask the Court to allow 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions if the allegation is of failing or refusing to provide a breath sample. We don't think they'll be that silly – if you've been told that...

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BC Supreme Court on Monday

Howard and the crew who argued Sivia, as well as the lawyers for the Government will appear in Court on Monday to make submissions on what should happen as a result of the finding that the IRP scheme is unconstitutional. Kyla wrote some of the draft arguments concerning the Charter issues. We were confident the Court would find that the samples were taken in violation of each person's 10(b) Right to Counsel, which it did. However, we felt that bearing in mind the degree of the punishment, the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme could not withstand a s.1 analysis. We were surprised,...

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Accused drunk drivers expected to file class action

Vancouver Criminal Lawyer Sarah Leamon

Lawyers are predicting the B.C. government could be hit with a class action lawsuit to recover millions of dollars paid by suspected drunk drivers based on part of a law that has been declared unconstitutional. Beginning last September, when B.C. introduced its tough new law, 15,000 drivers failed the roadside breath test and paid millions of dollars in penalties. That includes people like Navi Tagger, who blew a fail after he was pulled over on Nov. 19. Tagger was the designated driver that night, and says he had only consumed a single beer. His lawyer Sarah Leamon says she's getting mixed messages from...

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Bad-Faith Government and Kitimat ASDs

Firstly, we'd like to thank all of the people who have phoned and emailed us in the last couple of weeks. It's been gratifying to know that so many people support the work we do, and that so many people are following our updates. It's inspiring to see that people are aware of the threat to the rule of law when we give almost unfettered power to the police or a government agency. Kitimat ASDs: Many people (surprisingly) have contacted us about the comment we made a few days back concerning problems with the ASDs in Kitimat. It's an important issue, but...

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Update – waiting for an OSMV review decision

We have a number of clients waiting for a decision on their review hearing with the OSMV. We are also fielding many calls and emails from people who conducted their own hearing or had another law office conduct the hearing, and have yet to receive a decision from the OSMV. This is what we know: The adjudicators have been instructed to conduct hearings, but to not render decisions until they have been further instructed on how to decide the cases. We guess what this means is that they can review the evidence and make notes, but not give a decision. You are thinking...

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