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Ready

Strange thing here -- the RCMP have issued a press release saying: On November 30, 2011, the BC Supreme Court determined that for those who fail or refuse the roadside screening device, police could no longer issue an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (90-day driving ban) and that police could only issue an administrative driving prohibition, and/or proceed criminally. Of course, anyone who has been paying attention to what has gone on in the Court would know that this is factually incorrect. The 90-day IRP for alleged refusal is still good law -- the Court specifically indicated that in the December 23rd ruling. Noteworthy...

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RED ALERT

We now need to tell you what we think the Government plans to do. We now believe that the Government intends to adjourn all outstanding IRP Fail cases, whether before the OSMV or the Court, until June when the Government can introduce new legislation and then have a re-hearing for everyone who received a 90-day. This is a Red Alert. Start planning. We believe that they are working on legislation that will simply add one possible argument for you to make at your IRP hearing, i.e. that you were not over .08mg%. What does this mean? You can expect another kick at...

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Return of the Administrative Driving Prohibition

Now that Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for Fail on an ASD have been more or less abandoned by the police, people have started calling us after having received a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP). You are much better off to have an ADP than an IRP. It is important, however, not to confuse the two or to conclude that because the IRP scheme has been found to violate the Charter, your ADP will mysteriously disappear. At this point in time, Administrative Driving Prohibitions have not been found in violation of the Charter of Rights and therefore you must consider whether it is...

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Admit you have a problem

They say that the first step toward dealing with a problem is first admitting that you have one. In October 2011, we revealed that the Port Moody police were performing too many calibration tests with each bottle of test solution. The Canadian Society of Forensic Science Alcohol Test Committee sets the standards which are used by all police forces in Canada. If a breathalyzer technician fails to follow the standards, the test is not relied on because it is not accepted as reliable according to the recommendations of the Alcohol Test Committee (ATC). The ATC makes their recommendations based on the scientific...

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Update & Action on the Streets

When the decision on the application of Sivia came out on December 23rd, we knew that it would complicate matters. Courts try to call it like they see it, based on the law and the facts presented. The lawyers for the Government carefully explained the position of their client (the Government) i.e. that lifting the IRP scheme for a few months would pose a public threat. We have previously explained why we disagreed with this interpretation, but it does not matter so much anymore because the Court agreed with that argument and allowed the continuance of the legislation. But there was/is...

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Gambling

A friend called and asked how many drinks he can safely have now that the law has changed. This is a particular concern for a number of reasons. Firstly, the law has not changed with respect to the permissible amount of alcohol in a driver's body. Harsh sanctions begin at .05mg%. A criminal conviction and further sanctions are the consequences you can expect if you drive with a BAC over .08mg%. The question discloses a more difficult problem for our society: how do we dissuade people from trying to be just under the limit -- from setting out to make that calculation?...

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Who will reverse the damage?

The Abbotsford Police are in damage control. And their spin does not have traction. Yesterday morning an Abbotsford officer was on the Bill Good show with host Michael Smyth. You can download it or listen to it here. The officer argued that this is similar to a cell phone needing repair. He argued that this should somehow engender confidence in the system -- that an officer noticed after the device had been employed for more than three weeks that it was giving false fail readings. He refused to answer the question regarding whether they notified anyone about it, and particularly whether...

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Wrong

Mistakes were made. Let's leave it at that.

The Solicitor General is wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, and so we do not hold it against her, but her knowledge of the history of ASDs in British Columbia is lacking. In the Canadian Press article from December 26, 2011, she was quoted as having written the following in an email: "These devices are highly accurate and have been in use by police in B.C. since 1977." Wrong and wrong again. By two decades. The Alcosensor IV first appears in the Criminal Code as an Approved Screening Device in 1997. They started to be widely distributed in BC in 1998. They replaced the SL-2 (we...

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Media Storm & Class-Action Update

I met with CTV this morning to further explain some of the problems with ASDs following the Canadian Press story published on Boxing Day. We have a significant amount of disclosure showing problems with these devices, but understandably reporters want to cut to the most revealing. Also, much of it is hard to understand unless you know what you are looking for. Every time we receive disclosure there is something that is the talk of the office for a few days - we are shocked that these problems exist and that the police simply shrug their shoulders. Any objective person reviewing...

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Pause

We are all on vacation at the moment, so we have not had a meeting to discuss the ruling. We will all be back in the office Wednesday, so you can expect a full update soon thereafter. One immediate difficulty that presents is that the Court has not limited the remedies that can be obtained for the Charter violation arising from the application of the unlawful law. Does this mean, if you get an IRP next 6 months, you can make your Petition to Court for a remedy? Why wouldn't you be able to? You still have the right to a...

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