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Acumen Law Corporation > News (Page 6)

Bill will move traffic disputes out of B.C. courts

Drivers may soon be denied their day in court to challenge traffic tickets. Vancouver lawyer Sarah Leamon expects constitutional questions to arise with the likely passage of legislation that removes courts from disputes involving driving violations. “The right to counsel and the right to a fair trial are most certainly going to be compromised, in my opinion,” Leamon told the Straight in a phone interview. Bill 52, called the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act (No. 2), 2012, establishes an administrative process to deal with traffic infractions. This replaces the current court-based procedure. “You’re not going to be able to cross-examine police officers anymore,” Leamon explained. Shirley...

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Mulgrew: Altered drunk driving law likely to bring on new court challenges

The B.C. Government’s attempt to rehabilitate the unconstitutional drunk-driving law looks like it will trigger further court challenges. “I’m sure it will be challenged again,” said Jeremy Carr one of the lead lawyers on the landmark case that overturned the controversial legislation late last year. Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko called the situation appalling. “If you blow, they don’t care how police got it,” he fumed. “They could pin you down on the ground and make you blow and it’s admissible. As far as they are concerned the charter of rights and freedoms does not apply to their tribunals.” The screening devices remain extremely problematic...

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Fewer drunk drivers caught since B.C. law struck down – CTV News

[caption id="attachment_16538" align="alignnone" width="450"] Paul Doroshenko being interviewed on CTV.[/caption] Despite the province's pledge to keep the pressure on drunk drivers, the number of people caught over the limit has plummeted in the months since part of B.C.'s new drunk-driving law was struck down. In November, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that the immediate 90-day driving bans for people who blow a "fail" in roadside tests were unconstitutional because there wasn't a fair appeal process. In the fallout, the province promised that drunk drivers would still be caught and charged the old way -- through the Criminal Code. Since then, an average...

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Accused drunk drivers get new ways to challenge penalties – CTV News

The B.C. government has rolled out its court-ordered adjustments to the province's tough drunk-driving law, promising that drivers who blow over the legal limit will have more chances to challenge their readings. The proposed changes come in response to a November B.C. Supreme Court ruling that part of the law was unconstitutional because it was too harsh and lacked a "meaningful review process." Drivers will also be able to challenge the reliability of the breathalyzer that failed them and police will have to submit documentation proving the instruments have been properly calibrated. Internal police documents obtained by lawyer Paul Doroshenko last year...

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B.C. drunk driving roadside test laws change – CBC News

The B.C. government has introduced new driving laws that it says will enhance fairness for drivers accused of being impaired and increase public confidence. But critics are unsure the proposed changes will stand up in court and say the earlier bad laws could cost the government millions of dollars in refunds. Lawyer Paul Doroshenko, who has several clients who lost their drivers licenses and paid thousands in fees, said the court has ruled the automatic suspensions are unlawful and the government needs to pay that money back. Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/05/03/bc-impaired-driving-law-changes.html...

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Is it .08 or not?

There is a big kerfuffle in British Columbia about the accuracy of portable breathalyzers police forces are using to measure the blood alcohol level of suspected drunk drivers. Those accuracy questions should be of concern to every driver in Canada, not just in British Columbia. It’s bad enough that some innocent people may have been convicted with inaccurate reading from the machines ...

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Breathalyzer tests need to be reliable

A controversy in B.C. about the reliability of breathalyzers used by police in roadside tests should raise red flags in this province, too. A Vancouver lawyer's examination of the situation through access to information requests raises questions about the accuracy of such tests. Paul Doroshenko's investigation showed that in one case, a sober Abbotsford, B.C., police officer failed a breathalyzer screening while testing the machine. Doroshenko's study of documents revealed a host of problems with the machines in several B.C. communities including Vancouver, Abbotsford, Whistler, Kitimat, Kamloops and Port Moody, with none of the troubles reported to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles,...

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Records show police alcohol monitoring equipment is malfunctioning

Records from police detachments around the province show roadside screening devices are malfunctioning or being improperly maintained says a Vancouver criminal defence lawyer. Paul Doroshenko believes this is why portable breath analyzers should never have been used to provide blood-alcohol results that allow police officers to unilaterally suspend driver’s licences for 90 days. “I’ve been so disgusted by this law. I find it so offensive that innocent people can be so punished,” Doroshenko said. Read more: http://www.theprovince.com (Articled has now been archived and is available for purchase through The Province website)...

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Documents cast doubt on accuracy of breathalyzers

News that a sober Abbotsford, B.C., police officer tried out the department's breathalyzer and failed the test is enough to send chills down the spine of any designated driver in this holiday season. A Vancouver lawyer says the machines police rely on to take drunk drivers off the road and deliver hefty financial penalties are notoriously faulty and things haven't improved in the year since more than 2,000 were taken out of service for recalibration. Although access to information documents show a litany of problems with the devices in Vancouver, Abbotsford, Whistler, Kitimat, Kamloops and Port Moody, none of the problems...

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