Vancouver Criminal Law


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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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Financial considerations

Financial Considerations of an IRP

Money is always an issue. If you are issued an IRP, you need to sit down and do some calculations right away to figure out what it's going to cost you. 90 days without your driver's license might cost you your job. If it won't, you still need to calculate what it will cost to get around for that period. Of course there are the fines, fees, towing, storage etc. Everyone is sent to take the Responsible Drivers Program, although you may be exempted on reconsideration. If you end up with both the RDP and Interlock, you're now approaching $5000 without...

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A young man killed himself

Very sad for the Haida

The people of Haida Gwaii are tortured by sorrow and are grieving beyond words this evening because a young man killed himself. On October 18th, this young man hung himself here in Vancouver. The young man is a member of the Haida people. My understanding is that he lived much of his life in Old Massett. Speaking with some of his friends I was told that he was an outgoing, sensitive, jovial and thoughtful young man. He was very social. He played basketball and loved the game. He was devoted to the Haida Nation. Apparently he was working and studying in Vancouver....

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IRP – disproportional punishment

Get and IRP, get eaten by a bear

Attempting to explain the deficiencies of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme is a daunting task unless you're speaking to a person who has been through the IRP process. People who have had an IRP just get it. Defence lawyers, many of whom gave up in the face of the IRP scheme, know just what we're taking about. When you tell people about the many devastating malfunctions of roadside breathalyzers, they get a glazed look on their face. When you speak of the substandard (grossly substandard) review process, they assume that you're just a whiner. Once you get an IRP, however, it all...

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Go arrest some real drunk drivers!

Catch Some Real Drunk Drivers!

Here is some free legal advice: if the police detain you for drinking and driving, don't tell them to go arrest some real drunk drivers. Variations on that phrase are also not advisable, such as "go arrest some real criminals." And it's best never to mention doughnuts. We say this because from time to time we see this in DUI police reports and it's never a good thing. First of all, criticizing the police is dangerous particularly on a dark lonely road where they're holding a tazer and writing down their version of the evidence. Secondly, any variation on any of...

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