Vancouver Criminal Law

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The BC Liberals have fallen and they can’t get up

BC Liberals have fallen

This is a great title for an editorial: Clark's B.C. Liberals are circling the drain. Poll numbers show that the BC Liberals have fallen well behind the NDP even before the recent ethnic strategy scandal. And as a result many pundits are predicting the end of the Government, i.e. the BC Liberal Government. At the same time the pundits are also hedging their bets because things can change quickly in an election. We think that the NDP will take the election (about 9 weeks away) simply because the BC Liberals have been so arrogant. Rather than thinking about good public policy,...

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Top 10 reasons people dislike BC’s IRP laws

Top 10 reasons people dislike BC's IRP laws

10.  Judge, jury, executioner. Although this is a common complaint, the police have no discretion under the law. So in a sense there is no judge or jury. 9.  Punishment long before any hearing. Most people are prohibited for 21 days or thereabouts before they get a decision from the tribunal. So in essence you are sentenced before your hearing. 8.  Charter Rights not protected. The OSMV tribunal doesn't grant remedies for violations of Charter Rights so the police know they can disregard your rights without fear of consequence. 7.  No indication of what the blood-alcohol level might have been. The ASDs used in BC don't tell...

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Keep an eye on this: new traffic ticket process

New Traffic Ticket Process BC

In May 2012 when the legislation was introduced we told you about the new traffic ticket process in BC and some of our concerns. We're worried about it. It appears to us the BC Government is trying to legislate out your Charter Rights, remove your right to face your accuser, and take away their obligation to prove alleged traffic violations beyond a reasonable doubt. Under the new law you cannot cross examine the police officer, you cannot compel the police to provide you with further disclosure so that you can make full answer and defence to the accusation and you cannot...

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Reacting to Change

Reacting to change in BC law

As our society inevitably changes, new legal issues arise. When texting while driving became more and more common, the police started giving out tickets  for Driving Without Due Care and Attention to texting drivers. This was happening long before there was legislation regarding using an electronic device while driving. Because of new technology, the police in BC adapted by using the laws that fit. The police were reacting to change. The police were well ahead of politicians who generally work for the reward of more votes. With smart phones a technological change caused a change in driving behaviour that was met...

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Getting your money back for the Interlock and RDP

Getting your money back for the Interlock and RDP

When the Government finally agreed not to compel the 1137 people who were the subject of our court challenge to complete the Responsible Driver Program and get an Interlock, they also said that they would reimburse those people for the money they'd paid toward those programs. We're now bringing a court challenge to ensure nobody else is forced to go through these programs unless it can be justified on the basis of their driving record. We think that we'll succeed (or we wouldn't do it) but the big question is whether you'll be getting your money back for the Interlock and...

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Our challenge to the Interlock and RDP requirements

Freeing you of the Interlock

If you've followed the news and our blog, you know that our challenge to the ignition interlock and RDP requirements led to 1137 people being freed so far. The remedial requirements are discretionary according to the Motor Vehicle Act, the decisions of the ICBC OSMV tribunal and the deputy Superintendent. But the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles ordered everyone since September 20, 2010, to go through these so-called remedial programs. We think that either the Government wrote the law this way to try and deceive the Court when it came to argue Sivia, or the OSMV was going rogue,...

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The public mood has shifted on IRPs

The public mood has shifted on IRPs

As our regular readers know, over a couple of years our blog has become the source for news on Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRPs). As far as we're concerned, the current drunk driving laws in BC mark a low point in our history. We have sacrificed fairness for expedience. Many innocent people have had their lives ruined by being wrongly issued a 90-day IRP. The Government seems bent on trying to turn alleged drunk drivers into a source of revenue for both the Government and their co-conspirators. It's an ugly situation. All of us in our law office recognized early on that...

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Who makes all the money from the RDP and interlock?

Who makes the money from the RDP and interlock?

Reporters and clients often ask us who makes all the money from the RDP and interlock, and the answer is that we don't know. The IRP scheme brings in money to the Government and the tow truck companies are making huge profits. Of course, the Government also makes money on the HST for these "services." But it's the Responsible Driver Program and the ignition interlock that most concerns us. The reason is that these are sole-source providers granted their privileged position by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. The numbers are off the charts. At roughly $900 per person, assuming everyone went...

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IRP news and editorials from major newspapers

The IRP news immediate Roadside Prohibition resource

Toward the end of last week, while we were busy trying to lift the interlock requirement for as many people as possible, the Vancouver Sun published an article with particularly interesting IRP news. Ian Mulgrew managed to interview the former B.C. Solicitor General John van Dongen, and elicit his opinions on the IRP scheme. He was a member of the BC Liberal cabinet when the Immediate Roadside Prohibition legislation was introduced. Van Dongen is an interesting guy. But really interesting to us is the enlightened observations he made about the IRP scheme when it was first discussed in cabinet. This is...

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Decisive action on the interlock and RDP

Torpedo on the water: interlock and RDP remedil requirements are about to be destroyed

We've been working very hard this week because now is the critical time to take decisive action on the interlock and RDP requirements that follow a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition. You can read the previous posts to see what got us to where we are. Simply put, the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles took the position when the IRP scheme was introduced that if you were issued a 90-day IRP, the Responsible Driver Program (RDP) and interlock were mandatory. Of course, that's not what the law said and not what our provincial politicians voted on when the IRP law...

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