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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 63)

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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The Government Responding to the Court

If you've read some of the previous blog postings, you'll see that we dug up a lot of material over the last 16 months concerning problems with the ASDs. We knew that it was a mistake to rely on them for harsh punishment. So we were encouraged when the Spencer decision came out a few months ago. The Spencer decision largely foreshadowed the Sivia decision, which found the scheme unconstitutional. In Spencer the Court found that, if there was to be any confidence in the IRP review process, the tribunal should consider the best evidence. Because the police would typically not...

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IRPs – People Serving the Punishment

We expect that arguments will be made to the Court before Christmas concerning what the declaration should be, i.e. what sections of the law will be struck or modified and whether this will apply retrospectively. We expect the Government to take the position that the decision applies from this point forward. There has also been a rumor that the Government would concede that anyone who filed a Petition to review the OSMV decision would be entitled to a remedy. This suggests that they will oppose a blanket remedy for everyone who received an IRP. We see only two categories of individuals: those...

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ASD Accuracy Problems

ASD Accuracy Problems

Mi-Jung Lee had another report on the IRP scheme, this time dealing with ASD accuracy problems and ASD malfunctions. She picked one of many inaccurate calibration tests to give as an example. The spokesman for the VPD said one with such a reading would have gone for repair, but she did not say that this unit went for repair. In fact, there was nothing in the disclosure to suggest that it was sent for repair. There are a number of interesting points to note: We had to fight for these documents; No lay person has been able to obtain these documents to defend an...

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Roadside breath tests not always accurate: documents

Internal police documents are raising doubts about the precision of some roadside breathalyzers used by B.C. police to catch drunk drivers. Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko filed Access to Information requests with police departments across the province and found that the screening devices aren't always accurate. Inspection documents from the Vancouver Police Department show some erratic readings on those tools. "Sometimes they grossly inflate the reading that should be reflected on the unit," Doroshenko said. During a monthly calibration in February, one machine calibrated with a standard chemical solution showed a reading of .117 -- when it should have registered .082. If the reading had been...

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The IRP Stigma

We've had a number of reporters call us in the last few days, and everyone rushed to get the story out for the evening news on Thursday. Mi-Jung Lee at CTV had a woman who served her 90-day for an alleged refusal. It was interesting because over the past 14 months many clients did not want to appeal the review decision because they were concerned about the notoriety. This worked in the Government's favour because few people were willing to speak up to explain how unfair the scheme was for fear of public humiliation. We found that many people would read...

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Ruling puts accused drunk drivers back on the road

Hundreds of people who lost their licences after failing roadside breathalyzer tests are getting their permits back after a B.C. judge tossed out part of the province's tough law against drinking and driving. Last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jon Sigurdson ruled that the immediate 90-day driving suspensions issued to drivers who register a blood alcohol level above .08 constitute an infringement of drivers' Charter rights. Lawyer Paul Doroshenko says he's filed reams of petitions to the court since the decision was handed down, on behalf of people who want their driving bans and $500 administrative penalties lifted on an interim basis. "In...

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