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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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“May pose a danger”

It may seem nebulous, but it was the conclusion of the Court that applying the Charter to immediately strike down the unlawful IRP law "may pose a danger" such that it is appropriate to delay the declaration of invalidity. What does this mean for our clients? The Court went on to say: In suspending this declaration of invalidity it is not my intention that the fact of the suspension itself will affect any rights that may have accrued or vested up to the present date. This would seem to suggest that people who have sought a remedy in the Court by filing a...

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Court decision – December 23, 2011

The Court has rendered its decision concerning the implications of the 90-day IRP scheme having been found to violate the Charter of Rights. We are reviewing the decision. We will post updates when we have had an opportunity to consider the implications of the decision. You can read the decision here: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/11/17/2011BCSC1783.htm...

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Gambling

We expect a decision from the Court today concerning the application of the November 30th ruling in which the 90-day IRP/ARP law was held to be unconstitutional. What will it mean? We will tell you when we see it. One way or another, we doubt it will resolve the issue of outstanding IRPs or provide a complete answer for people who have their matter before the Court in the form of a Petition to review the adjudicator's decision. Simply put, the Government appears to have dug in its heels, so it seems probable that the matter will end up in the BC...

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Stats and waiting for the return of your BCDL

A suggestion the Government seems to make by hammering one single statistic out of context is that recidivists are responsible for drunk driving deaths and therefore we should conclude that the IRP law stopped repeat drunk drivers. That would be the only way the decrease could be attributed to the IRP scheme. And bearing in mind that it is 90-days that the person is off the road, then what we would need to examine is how many repeat drunk drivers cause an accident in the 90-days after they are initially stopped. None of this is discussed when the Government bleats...

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Update on Monday’s hearing

The Court heard submissions with respect to what should happen now that the 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme has been found unconstitutional. The Justice indicated that he understood that there is a desire for a prompt decision. The issues are complex, however, so we do not expect a decision until early January at the soonest. The Government argued that the Court should suspend the implementation of the ruling until June. The Government also argued that they should be exempt from having to reimburse anyone for the fines, towing, storage, etc. For simplicity, we have broken down the Government's argument into three...

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