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Acumen Law Corporation > News (Page 4)

B.C. drivers have one-in five chance of getting roadside ban overturned

Superintendent's Report on Approved Screening Devices

VANCOUVER — British Columbia has one of the country’s toughest drunk driving laws, but if drivers choose to challenge a roadside ban and the penalties and fines that come with it, they have at least a one-in-five chance of getting of getting roadside ban overturned. The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles says in the year since the amendments, about 22 per cent of the 2,708 drivers who challenged an immediate roadside prohibition got it overturned. A total of 18,888 driving bans were issued in that time period. While some defence lawyers applaud the successes, they say the appeal process remains...

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B.C. Supreme Court rules against government’s report on breathalyzers

Paul Doroshenko

In a ruling that could result in thousands of appeals of drunk driving suspensions, the B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that a government report on breathalyzers was not admissible in a particular case. Justice Richard Goepel’s ruled that the Superintendent’s Report on Approved Screening Devices was inadmissible in an Immediate Roadside Prohibitions review hearing. Paul Doroshenko, a Criminal Lawyer with Acumen Law, says the government’s report doesn’t comply with the Motor Vehicle Act. “These roadside breath testers have problems and were never intended to be used for this,” he says. “Anyone who conducted a hearing to review their prohibition and were unsuccessful...

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ICBC sues riot suspects

ICBC sues riot suspects

It’s been nearly two years since the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver and ICBC is now launching a civil claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against 46 people who have been charged or convicted for their actions in the riot. ICBC says they are seeking damages after paying out about half a million dollars in claims on 77 of their customer’s vehicles that were damaged. Acumen Law’s Paul Doroshenko joins the conversation for a legal perspective. Global News Top Story: ICBC sues riot suspects: http://globalnews.ca/news/644039/on-top-story-june-12/...

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Top Story: Stanley Cup Riots

Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko on Global TV

The first rioter to plead not guilty and go to trial is not going to jail. Spencer Kirkwood is facing a 30-day conditional sentence and two years probation for his role in the 2011 Stanley Cup riots. Is this a fair sentence? Criminal lawyer Paul Doroshenko joins host Michael Eckford to break down the sentence and to discuses sentencing in the Stanley Cup riot cases. http://globalnews.ca/news/618058/top-story-june-5-2013/  ...

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Province could end up paying millions in refunds to drunk drivers

Mandatory IIP and RDP

The provincial government has offered $2,000 refunds to hundreds of motorists who received immediate roadside suspensions for drinking and driving. A lawyer for some says the letter is an acknowledgment Victoria should not have additionally penalized all suspended drivers by forcing them to install an ignition breathalyzer lock on their vehicles and attend a responsible driver course. Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko, a leading critic of the controversial three-year-old program, says the move could presage a whopping bill for taxpayers. “Mostly I’m angry that they didn’t simply send cheques,” Doroshenko said. “They seem to know the amount people paid for the interlock and RDP. Instead...

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Breathalyzer machines used by police are error-prone

Error-prone breathalyzers are inaccurate

Breath-analysis machines used by police forces across B.C. are incapable of differentiating between mouth and blood alcohol, are prone to human error and should not be used to issue immediate roadside driving suspensions, according to a leading forensic scientist. Those findings are outlined in an affidavit prepared by Nizar Shajani, a Burnaby-based forensic scientist who worked for the RCMP for 12 years and who has written numerous studies on blood-alcohol testing. “They’re supposed to be screening devices,” Mr. Shajani said about the machines in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “Screening devices when the police suspect there is alcohol in the...

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B.C. drunk-driving laws could trigger new wave of court battles

Paul Doroshenko defence lawyer in Vancouver

The B.C. government isn’t properly following its own drunk-driving laws and should prepare to be hammered by a new wave of court challenges, says the lawyer whose legal petitions forced more than 1,110 impaired-driving penalties to be overturned. “They were obligated to apply the law, and they didn’t do it,” said Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer whose court challenges forced the Justice Ministry to announce Friday it was overturning penalties in 1,137 cases. “The government hasn’t abided by its own law, and it’s going to end up costing taxpayers millions and millions of dollars.” The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles said...

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Impaired penalty review prompts B.C. to grant breaks to more than 1,100

More than 1,100 British Columbia motorists caught up in tougher drunk driving rules before part of the law was found unconstitutional will have some of their punishments overturned, but their drunk driving penalty still sticks. The Justice Ministry confirmed Friday at least 1,137 motorists who were required to attend and pay for driver education programs and install ignition-lock systems in their vehicles after failing roadside impaired driving tests no longer need to take those actions — and up to 400 drivers may be in line for refunds. The two programs add up to a cost of about $2,600. Last month, the Justice Ministry...

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Faulty breathalyzers used in Port Moody

Paul Doroshenko Revealed the Port Moody breathalyzer problems

Fourteen out of 174 roadside suspensions issued by Port Moody police in 2011 will be overturned after an independent investigation found the suspensions were based on readings of improperly calibrated breathalyzers. The findings, announced Thursday, were forwarded to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, which said it will be contacting the 14 drivers to cancel their immediate roadside prohibitions and penalties, and work with Port Moody police to reimburse them. But the Vancouver lawyer who first called attention to the faulty breathalyzers in October 2011 criticized police for taking more than a year to take action, while some drivers who may be innocent...

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DUI cases tossed due to shoddy paperwork

DUI Cases with photocopied evidence

Vancouver police have been taking shortcuts in DUI cases by photocopying forms used to demonstrate that breathalyzer machines have been tested and are working properly. Criminal lawyer Paul Doroshenko said at least 17 cases of 90-day driving suspensions have been tossed out because of shoddy paperwork provided by the Vancouver police department. "I think every person who got (a driving suspension) in Vancouver should be entitled to a re-hearing based on that evidence," Doroshenko said, noting the forms - known as calibration certificates - were likely included in the offence documentation of hundreds of drivers handed roadside driving suspensions between June and...

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