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IRP version 1 – important decision on adjourned IRP hearings

Version 1 IRP Important Decision

The BC Supreme Court rendered a decision today that we've been waiting for concerning old Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. This affects anyone who had an IRP under version 1, where the hearing took place after June 30, 2012. This will be good news for a number of people. The important decision on adjourned IRP hearings confirms what we argued in each of these cases: the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (now RoadSafetyBC) had no jurisdiction to conduct hearings under IRP scheme version 1 after June 30, 2012. Some background: The first version of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition law was ruled unconstitutional with regards to...

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The role of RoadSafetyBC

The Role of RoadSafetyBC

Even lawyers like us, who deal with RoadSafetyBC each day, find this particular government office an unanswered puzzle. You may recall that back in May the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles officially changed its name to RoadSafetyBC. The name change, although presumably intended to express clarity of purpose, seems to further highlight the contradictory nature of their purpose. The name expresses very clearly that this is a government office that advocates for road safety. Although it's a laudable goal, should it be the role of a government office that is also responsible for adjudication of disputes between individuals...

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Warn Immediate Roadside Prohibition

Warn Immediate Roadside Prohibition

We received some emails and calls since our first blog post on the IRP scheme version 2 court challenge asking how these court cases may affect Warn Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases. If you're up to date with the main court challenges to the IRP scheme, you may already know that the Sivia decision held that IRPs for Fail under the first version of the law are unconstitutional. The Government went back and re-wrote the law, claiming that the new version (IRP 2.0) fixes the problems with the old one. In mid July we were part of a team of lawyers who conducted...

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IRP 2.0 court challenge

IRP 2.0 Court Challenge

As we explained earlier, we were involved in the challenge to the second version of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme. The hearing took place just over a week ago in BC Supreme Court sitting in Victoria. IRP 2.0 is now in the hands of the Court. Of course, the first version of the scheme was found unconstitutional by the Court when it came to 90-day IRPs for blowing "Fail" and the law was re-drafted. The Court decisions regarding the first version are still under appeal so everything could be upset by later rulings on the first version. For example, if the...

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Challenge to the IRP scheme version 2

Challenge to the IRP scheme version 2

Few people are aware that there was a challenge to the IRP scheme version 2. We didn't talk about it here on our blog because we thought it would be inappropriate to publicly discuss it before the hearing took place. However, the hearing is now over and so we're now happy to report what's been going on. The challenge Back on November 30, 2011, the first version of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme was found unconstitutional in a BC Supreme Court decision called Sivia v. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. The Court in that case identified several failings with the IRP scheme,...

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Breathalyzer Malfunctions and Your Right to Know

Breathalyzer malfunctions

There are many things we do in pursuit of being the best IRP Lawyers. One of them is our Freedom of Information database. We regularly compel the police to disclose to us copies of maintenance and calibration records for approved screening devices by demanding the documents via the Freedom of Information and Access to Information laws. At this point we’ve accumulated thousands of pages of breathalyzer disclosure indicating all sorts of breathalyzer malfunctions. For a long time many police departments fought us on our requests. Some internal disclosure documents we have obtained show that the RCMP have actively tried to find...

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Lawyers and the IRP scheme

Lawyers and the IRP scheme. But for lawyers, there would be almost no defences

We got the sense that the Government hates lawyers. We came to this conclusion because of the crappy legal aid funding situation, legislation the Government introduced that prohibits people from being represented by a lawyer in some circumstances and utterances on BC Government websites designed to discourage people from hiring a lawyer to defend their IRP. When it comes to lawyers and the IRP scheme, we think that RoadsafetyBC (the office formerly known as the OSMV) intended, hoped and expected to undermine the authority of lawyers so it would be easier to reject drivers at their IRP appeal hearing. They didn't...

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The IRP law is bad law

The IRP law is bad law going the wrong way

We've said all along that the IRP law is bad law -- you can read several hundred of our blog posts to see our opinion on it. What always surprises us is that it was so poorly thought out by the people who wrote the law and promoted it. They did no scientific testing to determine if it was appropriate to rely on screener breathalyzers to punish people (it isn't) and they were blindsided by the legal challenges and complex legal arguments we've brought on. One of our biggest concerns, however, was that people who are tested on ASD screeners and...

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Wilson appeal – The Final Frontier

Wilson Appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada

We have filed the application for leave to appeal the Wilson decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Wilson appeal is underway. Two leading BC Supreme Court cases, Richardson and Wilson, found that the police need to have reasonable grounds to conclude that the driver is affected by alcohol in their ability to drive before the police could issue an IRP for Warn or Fail on an approved screening device. We think the logic in these two decisions is sound. Firstly, it's in the Motor Vehicle Act: 214.41(3.1) If, at any time or place on a highway or industrial road, (a) a...

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Where are the DUI roadblocks?

Where are the DUI roadblocks in BC?

We know the locations of the DUI roadblocks. It's not that we spend our time listening to our police radio scanner, or that we follow the twitter account revealing the locations of roadblocks in BC. It's just that we've read so many police reports from all around the province, and we keep a database including information about specific police officers and detachments. About a year ago we noticed that we could predict the most probable times and locations of the DUI roadblocks on any given day and it turns out that we're usually right. The implications are interesting. First of all, ...

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