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DUI is nothing new

My name is Paul Doroshenko. I'm a lawyer who deals mainly with cases involving the police. My law firm, Acumen Law Corporation, is the most successful BC law firm dealing with Immediate Roadside Prohibition DUI cases. Long before I became a defence lawyer, I was a historian among other things. From the day I started as a lawyer I was involved in drunk driving defence. As a historian, I also took an interest in the history of DUI laws and the way that the police investigate impaired driving cases. One thing I can tell you is that DUI is nothing new. Before...

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What we learned from Wilson

What we learned in Wilson

When we walked out of the Supreme Court of Canada in May we talked for a moment about how we got there. We became involved with the case after the BC Court of Appeal overturned the BC Supreme Court decision. So we came in late in the day and did the best we could with what we had. We wanted to make sure that we learned as much as we could from Wilson. And we learned a lot.[pullquote]We didn't trust the Government and we were right. When RoadSafetyBC received unsworn Report to Superintendent documents, they upheld the IRPs ignoring the...

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The Champions of IRP Defence

The Champions of IRP defence

When Immediate Roadside Prohibitions came out, one thing we did to ensure we were doing the best job possible was we requested copies of every successful decision each month. We wrote to the BC Government for disclosure of copies of all of the successful decisions.[pullquote]Most IRPs that are lifted on review are cases where Acumen Law was the firm handling the case.[/pullquote] The reason we wanted copies of the decisions was because we wanted to see if anyone else was coming up with creative arguments and of course we wanted the decisions for precedent value. As we reviewed the disclosure there...

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Deleted emails and the BC Government

BC Government deleted emails

This week BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner released a scathing report about a widespread problem with BC Government employees deleting emails, rather than responding to Freedom of Information Act requests for which those emails would be considered responsive.[pullquote]It makes no sense for a police officer, who would have active and ongoing investigations covered in his email inbox, to have deleted everything all of a sudden. [/pullquote] When we read the report, we began to feel a very familiar sensation. What she was describing sounded like something we have experienced on a very regular basis when dealing with BC Government Agencies, particularly...

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The police, the evidence and the forensic analysis of a DUI case

We explained in an earlier video that the police are special witnesses in that they have been trained to collect evidence, record evidence and present evidence. What we do as impaired driving defence lawyers is we conduct a forensic analysis of the evidence. We obtain the police reports, photos, notes and when possible video. We go over it, we pick it apart and we dig. If you watch any of the forensic tv shows, you'll usually see the police trying to piece together something from evidence they locate. In impaired driving cases, the police are usually the eye witnesses to the evidence....

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Reverberations of the SCOC decisions

SCOC decisions

Some version of the IRP law will remain in place in BC, at least for the next few years. That's the obvious conclusion from the Supreme Court of Canada decisions and the decision in Bro.[pullquote]Without a doubt aspects of the IRP constitutional challenges could have been handled better. That's not to say that anyone did a poor job.[/pullquote] For us we've spent the last 10 days dealing with the reverberations of the SCOC decisions. On a personal level there is the emotional commitment to the ongoing challenges to the IRP scheme. Operating with the knowledge that two levels of court had...

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Not what you wanted – SCC rules on IRPs

Not what you wanted

The decision came down early this morning and within minutes it hit the news. The bottom line is that nothing changes for people who were issued an IRP between June 15, 2012 and today. The court has given the rubber stamp to the status quo. SCC rules on IRPs The first version of the IRP scheme is still unconstitutional. The decision confirmed that finding, originally held by the BC Supreme Court and BC Court of Appeal. No change there. The first version of the IRP scheme was unconstitutional, but that's not the version in effect today. The lawyers for the drivers had hoped...

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General to specific: defective breathalyzer update

General to the specific

In the next few hours we'll get a decision from the Supreme Court of Canada in Goodwin/Sivia and Wilson. It's going to be an interesting day. Defective breathalyzer update In the meantime, we need to tell you about the decision we received Thursday in the judicial reviews we did for two clients who blew into breathalyzers in the defective range. These are the cases we advanced because of the systematic defects Paul identified in a certain range of ASDs purchased in the summer of 2010. Our argument in court was that the adjudicator was wrong in concluding that Paul’s affidavit (which many of...

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Big IRP shakeout

Big IRP Shakeout

This week is the big IRP shakeout. Early Friday morning the Supreme Court of Canada will issue the decisions in Sivia (Goodwin) v. the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles and Wilson v. the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. Both cases arise from the major challenges to the Immediate Roadside Prohibition law which first came into effect on September 20, 2010.[pullquote]The Supreme Court of Canada usually only permits appeals to be heard if they have a plan on rendering a decision that has some significant legal impact.[/pullquote] Timing of the appeals We argued Wilson on May 19, 2015 right before the arguments in the Sivia...

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The steps of a DUI police investigation

In this video I will tell you about the steps of a DUI police investigation. There have been drunk driving laws for just over 100 years, so shortly after the car was invented. And before the invention of the car, there were traffic police in major cities dealing with horses and buggies. So enforcement of drunk driving laws is nothing new. [pullquote]The fact of an accident may do little for the police in building their case.[/pullquote] The steps of a DUI police investigation haven't changed that much over the decades. It all starts with observations of driving. The police may be looking for...

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