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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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Defective device

Defective Device

GM has had some huge problems lately. You see, a small design flaw in the ignition switch used in some of their cars can cause the key to turn off while driving. It's quite rare but the consequences are significant. A handful of people died in accidents due to this defective device. It was a mistake and it was fairly innocent in the sense that when they designed and manufactured the switch they didn't anticipate the problem despite turning their minds to ensuring it was safe. The design flaw in itself appears innocent enough. It was what happened later - the...

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Red Alert: Really big IRP problem

Red Alert: You have a deadline of January 12, 2015

This is not a drill! It's been a while since we issued a red alert, so pay close attention. We're not messing around here - this is very important. The BC Government is entering damage control because they now know thousands of people who have received IRPs in the last 4 years had a defence that wasn't disclosed to them. This is a really big IRP problem - colossal in fact. Everyone who ever received an IRP needs to know about it. Tell your friends...

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Lawyers who do a good job

We're lawyers who do a good job for our clients

This week a client told us that we restored his faith in humanity and lawyers. He was emotional when we phoned him to tell him that his 90-day IRP was revoked after we conducted the hearing. It's a significant event and so we understand that it can be very emotional, particularly getting such good news during these dark days of winter. We don't generally expect to have such an impact with our work. We simply try to be lawyers who do a good job. If we can restore someone's faith in humanity and lawyers, all the better. This was one of...

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Good DUI advice / Bad DUI advice

Good DUI advice vs Bad DUI advice

On average over 1200 Immediate Roadside Prohibitions are issued in BC each month, but only a handful of people dispute them. We think that this is absolutely terrible because so many people end up stuck with 90-day DUIs even though they could have won on appeal if they got some good DUI advice.[pullquote]One thing we can tell you is that the legal arguments at IRP hearings have become so sophisticated it would blow your mind.[/pullquote] A couple of things bring this to mind today. Over the weekend we spoke with a lawyer who practices in a completely different area of the...

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IRP legal test with no remedy

A real test or a fake test?

Imagine for a second that a government started with a blank sheet of paper and wanted to design a law to deal with the difficult problem of impaired driving. They could start by writing a law that goes something like this: 1.) Everyone who is impaired by alcohol in their ability to drive and drives a motor vehicle on a road or highway commits an offence of IWD - Impaired While Driving. That seems straightforward enough. It addresses the concerns, sets out the legal test and creates the offence. If you were writing the law, the next thing you might do is...

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The most interesting IRP development so far?

Climb Kilimanjaro or go to the Supreme Court of Canada on an IRP appeal?

The often painful narrative of the BC Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme is well documented on our blog. Court challenges, sad tales of the wrongfully accused, incomprehensible positions taken by the Government and some of the steps we've taken in our challenges to the IRP law are all there for posterity and for the benefit of our clients. Much of what we do in our challenge to the IRP law we never mention. We're strategic. We need to be. But then sometimes it's all there for the public to see, as it is with the first IRP cases to receive a hearing...

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Decisions have been made

Decisions have been made about the IRP law appeals

As though we had a crystal ball, we managed to predict or foreshadow a little bit into the future with our last blog post. As it turns out, decisions have been made with respect to two of the most significant Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases that have been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. We see on the Supreme Court of Canada's website that they have indicated that the leave application decisions in Wilson and Sivia I (now usually called Goodwin which we hope is, in fact, good luck) will be released on Thursday, November 27, 2014. At this point, all...

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Really big projects we’re working on

Big Projects we're working on regarding the IRP scheme

We're a really busy law office and we like it that way because we get a lot done and we learn that much more along the way. In addition to our day-to-day work for our clients, we've also been involved in some really big projects primarily concerning challenges to aspects of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme. The big projects tend to take a lot of our time, including the free time that we might otherwise have. These are the projects which bring us back to the office many nights and most weekends. The Wilson case If you've been with us for a...

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Successful Immediate Roadside Prohibition appeals

Successful IRP appeals

Last week was a very successful week. In addition to succeeding in a number of IRP review hearings, we succeeded in two 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions appeals in BC supreme Court. These were Judicial Review appeals where our clients did not succeed in their original hearing before the RoadSafetyBC tribunal, and appealed their cases to BC Supreme Court on the basis that the adjudicator’s decision was unreasonable. These cases are important, as they help to clarify some of the procedure and law about Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. "When was your last drink?" The first case, McConachie v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) 2014...

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