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The big secret about defective breathalyzers

Bad EEPROM in a defective breathalyzer

Last summer, a little over a year ago, we revealed to the media a problem with breathalyzers in British Columbia. We had determined that there were a lot of defective breathalyzers in use in BC.[pullquote]For the first time ever, available to the public, is Paul's affidavit about the batch of defective breathalyzers. [/pullquote] This was information that we had gathered over several years prior to our announcement, through Freedom of Information requests to police and RCMP for breathalyzer calibration and maintenance records. Early on under the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme, we had suspected that there was a particular problem with some...

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Impaired driving? IRP? ARP? Do I have a DUI or what?

WATCH: In BC if you were given a driving prohibition by the police in a drunk driving case you've probably been issued an Immediate Roadside Prohibition. This is a driving prohibition that the police give you right there at the roadside when you blow into a roadside breathalyzer. Immediate Roadside Prohibitions are called IRPs for short. In addition to the driving prohibition, the police also seize your vehicle for up to 30 days.[pullquote]The important thing to know is there is a review process for all drinking and driving roadside suspensions and you can have a hearing about the facts in your...

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Do I really have to blow? Part 3

Do I blow or not?

At the Supreme Court of Canada they deal with lots of hypothetical scenarios because they're considering the reasonably foreseeable implication of certain legislation. We consider them too, but we also see these scenarios play out in real life.[pullquote]This was the real-life case I referred to in Part 2. Our client refused to blow. At the hearing we argued that it was an unlawful demand and we...

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Two false Fails

Two false fails

During the hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada into the first version of the IRP scheme, Justice Moldaver mentioned that a second ASD test more or less eliminates the possibility of an inaccurate reading carrying the day. It wasn't something any of the lawyers picked up to explain. As far as we're concerned, this is a significant problem with the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme. The simple fact is that it is not extraordinary to get two false Fails in a row.[pullquote]Very important is to understand that even a tiny drop in your mouth can be expected to produce very...

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Do I really have to blow? Part 2

Do I really have to blow part 2

When I wrote the last blog post, do I really have to blow, I had a particular case in mind that had come across my desk just days earlier. The driver in that case had purportedly refused to blow. The passenger made a video of what transpired after the original ASD demand. It was clear to me that the discussion at the roadside undermined the requirement to blow. The normal answer to the question "do I really have to blow in the breathalyzer" would be yes, but in this case there was a good reason to refuse. The question for...

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Do I really have to blow? Part 1

Do I really have to blow

People often ask me "do I really have to blow?" The answer was simple before the IRP scheme became the law in BC. With a criminal investigation, if you blow and the police broke the law (failed to properly follow the law) in getting you to blow, chances are good that you'd be acquitted of criminal charges flowing from the roadside breath sample. With an IRP it's a lot different. An illegal ASD breath demand has not been a basis to revoke a Fail IRP. So it's complex. But the question remains...

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IRP appeal? We win the most

IRP Appeal - We win the most

Each month we count up the winning IRP appeal decisions from RoadSafetyBC to see where we stand. For as far back as we have records, going back now well over 2 years, each month we win the most IRP appeal hearings of any law firm in British Columbia. It's a great track record.[pullquote]It doesn’t matter where you are in British Columbia, if you have an IRP you just need to give us a call.[/pullquote] This week we obtained the statistics for April 2015. We succeeded in more than 5 times as many IRP appeal hearings as the next most successful law...

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Our law office in Victoria

Law Office in Victoria

We’ve opened a law office in Victoria BC. Acumen Law Corporation’s newest office is located in downtown Victoria at 1529 Amelia Street. That puts us 2 minutes from the Victoria courthouse, government offices and the Victoria Police. It’s good location to serve our clients and follow through on some of our plans.[pullquote]Sacha Roudette is now part of the most successful IRP DUI firm in all of BC working at our new Victoria law office.[/pullquote] About a year ago we decided that we needed to increase our presence on Vancouver Island particularly with respect to Immediate Roadside Prohibition defence. As far as...

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More great lawyers

More great lawyers

We've been very worried about steps taken by the BC Government to eliminate justice. As lawyers we find this particularly abhorrent because our justice system is the source of the freedoms we enjoy and the collective understanding we have about the rights of individuals in a democracy.[pullquote]Hard work is simply that, and not every lawyer is capable of doing the work at the level we need while also being creative.[/pullquote] There may be no point in fighting the elimination of justice. Over the last 5 year we've seen similar steps taken by the Conservatives in Ottawa and in a number of...

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Fairness at IRP hearings

Fairness at IRP hearings is nonexistent

At the May 19, 2015, Supreme Court of Canada hearings into the first version of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme, the Government took a position that the RoadSafetyBC tribunal could provide a remedy under section 7 of the Charter of Rights. The lawyer for the Government said that fairness at IRP hearings could be raised before the adjudicators. [pullquote]At our office we don't hang our hat on any Charter argument because we knew of the instructions to their adjudicators.[/pullquote] We've been doing IRP review hearings since the law was introduced and this is the first we've heard of this. In speaking of...

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