Vancouver Criminal Law

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Public Advocacy

Lawyers working in the public interest

We are criminal lawyers so our job is to advocate for our clients. This we normally do in a quiet manner, working behind the scene to get the best results attainable for our clients while protecting their privacy. And we do our job very well. What is unusual for us is to advocate in the media or the public sphere concerning government policy. And of course, this became a large part of our firm's work in the last 2 years. If you have been following our blog, you know that we have concerns about the direction our province is going with...

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A Proper Breath Test (PBT)

Proper Breath Test in a BC DUI case

When you are stopped by the police at the roadside, they must not delay you unnecessarily. It is your constitutional right in Canada to not be arbitrarily detained by a police officer. If you are detained, you must be informed of the reason, i.e. that you are under investigation and the crime for which you are being investigated. And you must be told about your right to counsel, i.e. to contact a lawyer and get legal advice. If you are being investigated for impaired driving, all of these Charter rights are in play. When the police use an ASD, the hope...

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The Drunkometer

The Drunkometer

From the moment cars were invented, we had a problem with people driving drunk. Not long after someone invented the Drunkometer. Our ancestors were drinking alcohol long before recorded history. There is evidence that suggests humans were drinking 10,000 years ago, and probably long before that. The process of distilling to produce spirits such as vodka, scotch, etc. has been known for 2000 years, but until the 15th century nobody did it. There is evidence to suggest that for centuries in many regions of Europe, people drank beer all day long. And they were probably at some level of intoxication much...

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What Is the Right Tool?

The right tool

The feedback that we receive from our blog is inspiring. Mostly we get emails, but also phone calls and the odd thank-you on the street. We have over 130 postings. Most are about the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme, which merely reflects the fact that we have a lot to say about it (almost all of which is critical). If you received an IRP, then you understand. You are part of a community wherein you do not know the other members and have little by way of support from your community. But remember: there are at least 15,000 people who went through...

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Why you didn’t demand a second test

The Police in BC are still busily handing out 3, 7 and 30 day IRP driving prohibitions for blowing WARN on an ASD, as well as 90-day Prohibitions for alleged refusal. We are disputing these prohibitions and still actively looking for cases to add to our Supreme Court challenge of the legislation. Recently we asked a caller why he didn't demand a second test. It seemed that his "Warn" prohibition may have been as a result of a contaminated sample. He said that it was so confusing, he didn't come to the conclusion that there might be a problem until the...

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Rights That May Have Accrued

A few days ago we wrote about keeping track of the damage that you suffered from your 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition for Fail. Aside from the out-of-pocket expenses to the Government and the companies profiting from the IRP scheme, you may be able to receive compensation in the future for other losses. If, however, you have been sitting there suffering, and doing nothing about it, you may find yourself disappointed with the amount of compensation, if any, that you receive. Simply put, you have an obligation to mitigate your losses. You need to try to reduce the losses in whatever reasonable...

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Rule of Law

Montesquieu gave definition to the Rule of Law and the division of powers

There is a strange tension in British Columbia at the moment between the Government and the courts. As a result, the chief judges from each level of court in B.C. signed a statement about judicial independence and the rule of law which is re-published here. This is a highly unusual step. Typically, the judges in our province can rely on lawyers to speak up in defence of the courts. Many lawyers have done just that in the last few years, ourselves included. The problem in this case is that the criticism is coming from the Government. And this poses a threat...

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The Legend of the Second ASD Sample

The second ASD sample is as rare as a unicorn if they police don't have a second breathalyzer handy.

Earlier in the week we mentioned that the police rarely correctly follow the second sample requirements. Whether it is a Warn range Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) or a now de facto - defunct 90-day IRP for blowing Fail, the police often screw this up. We received emails prodding us for more information and from people who were never our clients with their stories. So we thought we would explain more of the background What we found was you are more likely to be offered a second ASD sample during an IRP investigation if you are at a roadblock. If you were simply...

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Bad News in the Mail

Attractive Vancouver woman gets a letter from ICBC with details about her driving prohibition

If you just received an Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP), a 30-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) or a 90-day IRP, a nasty letter is coming your way. The IRP or ADP Notice of Prohibition does not explain the misery that is about to befall you. Only after the 7-day appeal period has expired will you receive the unexpected and unpleasant missive from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles telling you that you must now complete the Responsible Drivers Program (RDP) and drive with an Interlock for at least a year (with GPS monitoring your every move). It is dirty that you do not get...

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Peculiarities of the IRP Legal Limbo

Although the IRP law with respect to 90-day prohibitions for Fail was found to be unconstitutional, the law was left on the books until June. The Government argued that it was necessary to save lives. And the Court more or less accepted that argument. But the police stopped applying the IRP law, probably because they were uncomfortable using an unconstitutional law which might open them to liability. And it clearly was not needed to save lives because the drinking and driving stats in the last few months are the lowest in years. So we are in legal limbo. The law is...

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