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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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G. Jack Harris and Justice

G. Jack Harris and Justice

Nearly a year ago, renowned Abbotsford criminal lawyer G. Jack Harris passed away. A number of things have had me thinking about G. Jack lately. Shortly after his death some of his clients came wandering into our office looking for someone to take over their case. Each had a binder or thick envelope in hand containing the particulars and a letter explaining that Mr. Harris had died, they would need to find a new lawyer and then there was a list of possible lawyers with me as the number 1 on the list.[pullquote]As lawyers we merely get to borrow the justice...

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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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