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Really Big IRP News – Wilson is the Law

Big IRP News

Thousands of people will be affected by this. Today at 9:00 a.m. the BC Supreme Court rendered its decision in Wendy Richardson v. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, confirming that the decision in Wilson v. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is the law with respect to 90-day IRPs issued on the basis of an ASD Fail. This is really big news. What this means is that IRPs issued by a police officer who did not have the correct opinion properly expressed must be revoked by the tribunal upon review. This has now been confirmed as having been a ground for review of...

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Look at the evidence, then decide

Look at the evidence - make your own decision

The BC Supreme Court decision in Kenyon v. the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has people in the BC Government all upset. In that particularly insightful decision, the BC Supreme Court Justice says a lot of smart things including that, in his opinion, the adjudicators at the OSMV are "attempting to rationalize desired results." He notes a disturbing pattern. He says that normally the Courts need to give tribunals a high degree of deference. But then he says that the deference is "misplaced" with the OSMV tribunal because of the nature of the tribunal, and because of this disturbing pattern. The...

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A good decision

Good IRP judicial review decision

"It must be recognized that the scheme the Superintendent administers is meant to deter drinking and driving by the imposition of serious penalties on those who do not meet the standard set by the legislation. Within constitutional limits, it is the duty of courts to vindicate such legislation. If, however, the legislation supplements the imposition of penalties with the terrors of arbitrary state processes and foregone reviews, it is the duty of the courts to rigorously address those deficiencies and not to shield them." (Kenyon v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2014 BCSC 168) As lawyers dealing with the IRP...

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Murray fallout – check your IRP disclosure

Murray fallout

As we reported January 24, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal the decision of the BC Court of Appeal in Murray. It's been interesting to see how things are playing out. The Murray fallout is significant, which tells us a little about why the BC Government was willing to spend big money (taxpayers' money) to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. If you received an IRP at any point after June 15, 2012, you should check your IRP disclosure. You may be the lucky beneficiary of our work in the...

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Imperfect police

The police make mistakes

We are often stunned by the disclosure we obtain from Freedom of Information requests. We find horrible things like police concocting evidence to substantiate IRPs, Government employees doing things absolutely contrary to the law and almost every day we see evidence of incompetency across the board. Lawyers like ourselves who are in court practically every day become accustomed to police incompetence. We're not intolerant. We expect imperfect police officers because nobody is perfect. We're humans too. There are some really wonderful police officers in BC. Unfortunately, there are also some really imperfect police officers out there and every day there are...

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The first IRP case at the Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme Court of Canada

On Thursday, January 23, 2014, the decision was rendered in the first IRP case at the Supreme Court of Canada. We're celebrating the decision and the quality of our work and contribution to the case. Followers of our blog may recall that back in August 2013, the BC Court of Appeal confirmed an earlier decision regarding the requirement of the police to submit a sworn report in connection with an IRP. Of course, the first version of the IRP scheme was found unconstitutional with respect to Fail IRPs. The second version was introduced to address the Charter violations of the first...

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How to Prove You’re Innocent

Prove you're innocent

When it comes to Immediate Roadside Driving Prohibitions it can be impossible to prove you're innocent. Although the case law says that the burden of proving the allegation is the job of the police, the Government continues to contest this, claiming it's an undecided legal issue every time they get to court. And in actual practice at the hearings before the OSMV tribunal you must prove your innocence. It's a sad state of affairs, but that's simply the way it in in BC right now, and we think that things will only get worse in the decades to come. Mostly it's...

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Questions about DUI cases in BC and Criminal Charges

Questions about your DUI?

We get calls from nice people from all around the province to ask about DUI cases in BC, Immediate Roadside Prohibitions and criminal charges. Many people are well versed because they've read our site and visited our FAQ pages. As lawyers, and particularly as the leading IRP defence firm, we do our best to answer the questions most people have here on our blog and on our site. From time to time we sit down to discuss whether the questions are changing that people typically ask when they call us. We notice trends. For example, recently the changes to the Remedial...

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Expect an IRP storm

media IRP storm

The BC Court of Appeal decision on the first version of the IRP scheme is going to come any day. At least, that's the consensus among the very few lawyers with expertise in this area of the law. The media will be all over the story when it comes out and so we expect an IRP storm to follow. On Wednesday we finally got the court time to argue the applicability of the Wilson ruling to 90-day IRPs. We've been trying for months to get this argument heard. As you probably know if you're a regular reader of our blog, the...

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What are we waiting for?


At this moment in time we are counsel on perhaps hundreds of petitions or appeals of IRP decisions in BC Supreme Court. We've actually lost count of the number of IRP decisions we've appealed, but the files fill a few filing cabinets. At the same time we're working with other law firms on the proposed class-action suit, an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada and law suits in specific cases where we can demonstrate without a doubt that the police acted far outside of their lawful authority in connection to an Immediate Roadside Prohibition. We...

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