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Lawyers are predicting the B.C. government could be hit with a class action lawsuit to recover millions of dollars paid by suspected drunk drivers based on part of a law that has been declared unconstitutional. Beginning last September, when B.C. introduced its tough new law, 15,000 drivers failed the roadside breath test and paid millions of dollars in penalties. That includes people like Navi Tagger, who blew a fail after he was pulled over on Nov. 19. Tagger was the designated driver that night, and says he had only consumed a single beer. His lawyer Sarah Leamon says she's getting mixed messages from...Continue reading
Internal police documents are raising doubts about the precision of some roadside breathalyzers used by B.C. police to catch drunk drivers. Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko filed Access to Information requests with police departments across the province and found that the screening devices aren't always accurate. Inspection documents from the Vancouver Police Department show some erratic readings on those tools. "Sometimes they grossly inflate the reading that should be reflected on the unit," Doroshenko said. During a monthly calibration in February, one machine calibrated with a standard chemical solution showed a reading of .117 -- when it should have registered .082. If the reading had been...Continue reading
Hundreds of people who lost their licences after failing roadside breathalyzer tests are getting their permits back after a B.C. judge tossed out part of the province's tough law against drinking and driving. Last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jon Sigurdson ruled that the immediate 90-day driving suspensions issued to drivers who register a blood alcohol level above .08 constitute an infringement of drivers' Charter rights. Lawyer Paul Doroshenko says he's filed reams of petitions to the court since the decision was handed down, on behalf of people who want their driving bans and $500 administrative penalties lifted on an interim basis. "In...Continue reading
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - A Vancouver lawyer is very busy, getting banned drivers their licences back. The cases are piling up since the BC Supreme Court ruled against the province's tough new drunk driving laws last week. Paul Doroshenko says he represents at least 100 people who've been hit with a 90-day driving prohibition but are due to get their licences back. He says some individuals are desperate to have their driving bans overturned. "Many, many people lost their jobs as a result of this, as anybody who had to drive for a living lost their job because nobody was sticking an Interlock (an...Continue reading
It was a pop of a cork heard across two provinces, but for Alberta, the champagne fell totally flat. Those expecting salvation in a B.C. Supreme Court ruling, hoping a legal challenge against rigid drunk driving rules would stop similar legislation next door, have little to toast. There’s nothing to celebrate, because the B.C. court only shot down the law for drivers over .08, and not those losing their cars for blowing below the legal blood-alcohol limit. It means Alberta can safely push ahead with Bill 26, giving Alberta police the ability to suspend licences and impound vehicles for motorists caught over .05,...Continue reading
Global National - Parts of B.C. drunk driving law ruled unconstitutional Wed, Nov 30: Canada's toughest drunk driving law is dealt a blow, when a B.C. Supreme Court judge rules parts of it as unconstitutional. Francis Silvaggio reports: Parts of B.C. drunk driving law ruled unconstitutional - Global National - Videos | Global News...Continue reading
Forty-five fewer coffins.
If anything is going to kill off opposition to strict new anti drunk-driving legislation in Alberta, it’s 45 fewer customers for the funeral industry in the province next door.
That’s the number of lives apparently saved since B.C. adopted laws which Alberta plans to mirror next year, giving police the ability to impound cars and suspend licences for as few as two drinks.
Draconian, unconstitutional and a total disaster for the service industry: the .05 impaired driving crackdown has been called many things by opponents, but those promoting the law are calling it a great success.
B.C.’s anti-drunk driving legislation is a farce that pads provincial coffers while letting impaired motorists escape criminal prosecution, a veteran Vancouver lawyer says.
And Vancouver Criminal Lawyer Paul Doroshenko told the Sun Albertans may be in for the same laws, which he said circumvent federal jurisdiction while being a cash cow for the B.C. provincial government.
“The B.C. legislation, as far as I’m concerned, was primarily designed as a money-saving thing,” Doroshenko said.