Vancouver Criminal Law

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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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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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