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Is that your Charter of Rights?

Americans know their rights

One thing about Americans is that most of them know they have a constitution that protects their rights. Americans know about their Miranda rights; essentially that they have a right to silence, they have a right to a lawyer and they have a right to demand that a lawyer be present in any police questioning. This makes for great television because the police questioning happens with the wily attorney right there in the interrogation room.[pullquote]If the police can just violate your Charter rights and not abide by your Charter rights how are you ever to come to the sense that you...

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Implications of using defective breathalyzers

The truth about defective breathalyzers

Right now the police in British Columbia are busily working to replace the Alco-Sensor IV Approved Screening Devices (roadside breathalyzers) with a new-to-them model. We take some credit for the move. We've identified catastrophic problems with the old Alco-Sensor IV DWF breathalyzers used in BC and they're hoping to replace them before the you-know-what hits the fan. We have evidence that supports our assertions that thousands of people have been wrongly given IRPs on the basis of ASDs with a design/manufacturing flaw. A significant number of the ASDs that were in use in the last 4.5 years in BC were...

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Vigilante Justice

Vigilante Justice

One thing we know as criminal lawyers defending DUI cases is that emotions can run high particularly where there is a death or an injury. Even some of the comments we receive on our Facebook page cause us concern about the attitude of some people toward drinking drivers. Blame MADD or the police. The vilification of people charged with DUI has reached a dangerous level. It is this type of emotion and public disgrace for these types of offences that can trigger vigilante justice. It is rare, often because most Canadians seem to have faith in the justice system, and that...

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Symptoms of Drunk Driving

symptoms of drunk driving

It’s hard to believe what the police rely on as symptoms of drunk driving. Of course some driving behaviour, such as weaving across lane lines, is an obvious indication that something may be wrong. Still, with increased regularity clients report to us that they were pulled over for driving too correctly. Should the police pull you over because you don’t have symptoms of drunk driving? We’ve noticed a significant increase in people contacting us after having been pulled over for specious reasons. Often what happens is the driver is stopped by the police, the officer purports to have seen some driving...

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DUI knowledge

DUI Knowledge is power

To monitor developments in impaired driving defence and to stay up on new DUI science, one thing we've found useful over the years is attending DUI lawyer conferences in the U.S. DUI law in the United States is significantly different from state to state, but the science and methods of breath and blood testing applied in one jurisdiction is often helpful in developing defences for us here in BC. Also DUI lawyers are typically a fun group. So it's worthwhile attending these conferences to acquire greater DUI knowledge.[pullquote]Do you want to know one of the secrets to our success? We hunt...

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Quick update on the Really Big IRP problem

IRP Problem update

The Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme has had various narrative threads, each interesting in their own respect. We have seen ongoing issues that arise from the Government's decision to use alcohol screeners to collect evidence to base punishment. The screeners, ASDs, were never intended for this purpose and so we've seen major problems that will play out for years to come. We've seen court challenges seeking to find the law unconstitutional. The first scheme was held to be unconstitutional. The second scheme was held to pass constitutional muster. But it's still going to the Supreme Court of Canada, so you'll need...

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Serious sex assault and… advertising

Sex assault lawyer

In about 2004 John Cheevers and I struck up an informal agreement. I had made a reputation as an impaired driving savant. For some time I had been helping out other lawyers to identify problems in impaired driving investigations. Dealing with an unusually difficult sex assault case, I asked John to return the favour and help me work my way though some of the more complex issues in the case. We discovered that we work well together and our clients have benefited ever since. [pullquote]All of the work we do as defence lawyers starts with forensic analysis. [/pullquote] Certain types of cases,...

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Beating the breathalyzer – Part 2

Legally beating the breathalyzer

In our last blog post we explained some of the important issues with breathalyzer testing and how you can blow an artificially high or potentially lower reading under certain circumstances. If you want to beat the breathalyzer, in the sense of trying to fool the breathalyzer into thinking you have no alcohol in your body, forget it. It won't work. You can't keep your lungs from expelling alcohol in your blood. There are ways, however, to provide a lower sample that may even more accurately reflect your actual blood-alcohol content. Beating the breathalyzer by having it provide a lower reading...

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Beating the breathalyzer – Part 1

Beating the breathalyzer

We were really surprised that we beat the breathalyzer. We wrote a blog post about it. We were even more surprised about the popularity of the blog post. It seems that there are a lot of people interested in beating the breathalyzer. Still more surprising to us is that we found another way of beating the breathalyzer, in the sense of having the breathalyzer generate lower readings than might otherwise be the case. A little background is necessary. In October 2012 we solicited suggestions from people on how to beat the breathalyzer. We know it’s really easy to have the breathalyzer...

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Science doesn’t support roadside DUI prohibitions

Science Doesn't Support Roadside DUI Prohibitions

If Immediate Roadside Prohibitions are a great thing, why did it take so long before they were introduced? And why don't they have them anywhere else? And how is it that BC, a jurisdiction without any noteworthy history of innovation in breath testing technology, came to suddenly know something others don't without any studies to back it up? Oh, and what is it that allowed this revolutionary change despite using the same breath testers for over a decade? These are all good questions. The answers should cause you to shudder. Science doesn't support roadside DUI prohibitions The first thing you need to know...

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