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IRP for Good Guys, DUI for Bad Guys

Good guys get IRPs. Bad Guys get DUIs

One of the cruel ironies of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme is that good people who have no history with the police are treated worse than people who drive drunk with some regularity. When you get pulled over and blow Fail on an ASD in BC, the police issue an IRP for good guys and a DUI for bad guys. It's one of the most offensive parts of the IRP scheme that almost nobody talks about except police officers themselves. Many cops think the IRP scheme stinks for this very reason. Allow me to explain.[pullquote]In BC good guys don't get...

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The new burden of proof with IRP hearings

Burden of Proof in IRP hearings

When a case is handled in court there is always an obligation on one of the parties to prove something. For example, if you're alleging that another party is negligent, you need to go to court and present the evidence to persuade the court of your allegation. The burden of proof is on you.[pullquote]The onus under the new law is on the driver to prove, even without evidence from the other side, that they are in fact innocent.[/pullquote] In a criminal court, the burden of proof is on the Crown prosecutor to show that the accused committed the crime. If the...

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Section 215.41 – 215.51 and 251.1 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act with Bill 15 provisions included

Bill 15 changes the Motor Vehicle Act regarding IRPs

We expect that the proposed changes to the BC Motor Vehicle Act will be enacted into law within weeks. Most of the time proposed legislation is BC becomes law with little debate in our legislature. Usually the final version of the law is identical to the one introduced at first reading. Legislation that amends laws that are already on the books are almost always difficult to sort out. They remove a word or phrase, included new sections and refer to sections that are not yet in place. It's confusing to everyone, including lawyers. The members of the legislative assembly don't often...

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The lawyers can save us

Lawyers can save us (if Jesus won't)?

The function of the legislative process in British Columbia is very disappointing to us as citizens, taxpayers and British Columbians. We've noticed that the Government issues deceptive press releases, introduces a bill and then passes it within weeks with little or no discussion in our legislature. It turns out that it's all a fait accompli. The decisions are made behind closed doors. The quality of the debate in our provincial house is abysmal. The MLAs seem to have little understanding of the laws that they pass. It's not what we we're told we're getting living in a democracy.[pullquote]If you want...

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Gigantic IRP news

Gigantic IRP news

The BC Government has introduced new legislation to fundamentally alter the IRP scheme. The law will eliminate remedies for old Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. The law will make the Superintendent a party in adjudication. The legislation will limit the arguments that can be made and the submissions that can be made on behalf of applicants. In our opinion upon preliminary review of the legislation, if enacted this law will once again put the IRP scheme in violation of the Charter of Rights. We intend to challenge it on behalf of all British Columbians. We will provide more extensive updates concerning this gigantic IRP news as...

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Can you avoid a DUI roadblock?

Avoid a DUI Roadblock

An interesting issue -- we see it reported on U.S. news websites fairly regularly; that is drivers turning off the road to avoid a DUI roadblock. It may not apply across the United States, but in some jurisdictions the police are required to publicize the times and approximate locations of DUI roadblocks. Moreover, it appears that at least in some jurisdictions drivers are entitled to take a lawful exit or turn to avoid a DUI roadblock up ahead.[pullquote]A departure from the road to avoid a DUI roadblock is completely permissible, so long as you are abiding by the rules of...

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Red Alert update

Red Alert update

Just before Christmas we issued a Red Alert. We try not to be alarmist, but every once in a while the Government does something that requires a significant response. In this case, we needed to alert the people who read our blog of the letter we received from RoadSafetyBC. This is what the letter said: December 12, 2014 Reference No. 506235 Dear Legal Counsel: I write to inform you of an impending change to RoadSafetyBC policy concerning the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) program. Effective January 12, 2015, RoadSafetyBC will no longer accept applications for extension of the 7-day window to apply for an IRP...

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Lawyers advising clients about DUI roadblocks

DUI roadblocks

In the last few years we've seen popularized videos of people from inside their cars recording their interactions with the police at DUI roadblocks. Most of the videos are from the United States where the constitutional rights are very different. As DUI lawyers we like watching them for entertainment, but we also understand the backlash when it comes to certain videos.[pullquote]The tricks that might get you through DUI roadblocks in Canada require that you actively attempt to unlawfully obstruct a police officer.[/pullquote] In one instance a lawyer tested a method to get though DUI roadblocks in Florida. He held up a...

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RoadSafetyBC issues and solutions

RoadSafetyBC Issues

Because we deal with so many Immediate Roadside Prohibition review hearings, we recognize patterns in the decisions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is a requirement for adjudicators and administrative tribunals to be consistent in decision-making. The RoadSafetyBC tribunal should be no different.[pullquote]It has been the subject of so much discussion from our courts that it boggles the mind to see it continuing to occur.[/pullquote] However, when the patterns relate to improper ways in which evidence is assessed it can be frustrating. And, as we have said before, it’s often frustrating when tribunals do not follow the law. One of the...

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An IRP victory

An IRP victory

We have some good news to report about an IRP victory that never got much press. We learned yesterday that in one fiscal year the BC Government paid approximately $732,000 to some people who were wrongly sent to the Remedial Programs. This is our IRP victory. It happened because of our challenge to the former practice at RoadSafetyBC of requiring everyone who received an IRP automatically to be referred to the Responsible Driving Program and Interlock Program without the possibility reconsideration or any review of their driving record.[pullquote]We had to advise clients regarding the high-percentage chance of a quick-money settlement. [/pullquote] Mixed...

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