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Acumen Law Corporation > News (Page 8)

Mountie audits reveal serious errors in roadside drunk-driving checks

Significant problems and serious errors with the devices and procedures used for roadside suspensions and drunk-driving charges have been identified in internal RCMP audits. Although conducted last year, the findings of the internal quality assurance reviews — “completed in random to ensure that units/detachments are correctly calibrating and documenting the Approved Screening Devices” — are alarming. “Errors with the ASD Accuracy check procedure are serious in nature and could have large ramifications on the use of ASD’s (sic) in Criminal Code investigations and also on their use in the IRP (Immediate Roadside Prohibition) Program and the program as a whole in British...

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Court quashes penalties imposed under invalid drunk-driving law

Drunk driving ruling

The B.C. Supreme Court has rapped the provincial government’s knuckles for penalizing allegedly impaired motorists under the original version of the anti-drunk driving scheme after it was struck down. Victoria had no authority after June 30, 2012 — the deadline to fix the flawed sections of the Motor Vehicle Act — to impose certain Immediate Roadside Prohibitions and penalties under the old law, Justice Peter Voith said. He quashed any bans, fines or remedial programs facing the drivers who blew a “fail” in the weeks before the Nov. 30, 2011 judgment that found some parts of the controversial impaired driving legislation unconstitutional. “I...

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Changes made to prostitution bill

Sarah Leamon

Tue, Jul 15 – The House of Commons justice committee has voted to amend the Conservatives government’s new prostitution bill. The amendment will now criminalize prostitutes if they communicate for the purpose of selling sex next to a school, playground or daycare centre. Global News spoke with criminal lawyer Sarah Leamon about the impact of these changes.   Your browser may not support frames. Click here to view the frameless video....

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B.C. Supreme Court takes another swipe at drunk-driving enforcement

The famous Kyla Lee

The province’s tough anti-drunk driving program has taken another blow after a B.C. Supreme Court decision that could see thousands of immediate driving prohibitions set aside. Justice Jane Dardi ruled in oral reasons Friday that the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has the responsibility to overturn any prohibition issued by a police officer who hasn’t provided evidence that the driver’s abilities were affected by alcohol, even if they blew a “warn” or “fail” in a roadside breathalyzer test. Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee argued the case on behalf of Wendy Richardson, a driver who received an immediate 90-day roadside prohibition after blowing a “fail”...

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Judge criticizes standards of proof used for roadside prohibitions

Proof used for roadside prohibitions

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan has torn a strip off the province’s anti-drunk-driving scheme, quashing an Immediate Roadside Prohibition handed to a drunk, naked man in a van who claimed not to have keys for the vehicle. In a judicial review, he criticized as “specious” and “illogical” a Superintendent of Motor Vehicles adjudicator’s ruling upholding the 90-day suspension. But more than that, McEwan indicted the entire appeal process. “The statutory regime under which the Superintendent’s delegates operate subtracts most of the means by which credibility can be tested,” said the justice, who has cast a gimlet eye in previous decisions on...

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Impaired Passenger Cleared

Peter Norman is our hero

Peter Norman feels vindicated. The grandfather has been told it was the police, not him, who did something wrong. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles notified him by letter of what he suspected all along.  He shouldn't have been given an immediate roadside prohibition when he was merely a passenger in a car. He's glad he decided to dispute his driving prohibition. "If you feel you've been wronged, sure. You gotta stand up. Why get trampled on." WATCH: Impaired passenger cleared

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Grandpa’s punishment highlights gap in drunk-driving laws

Grandpa gets an IRP

The B.C. superintendent of motor vehicles says he was unable to correct the wrongful punishment of a pensioner for drunk driving, even though he was a passenger in a car driven by his stone-cold sober grandson. The man did not file an appeal under the provisions of the controversial legislation that came into effect in 2010. Drunk-driving laws: Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko and other defence lawyers were flabbergasted by the high-handed behaviour. Police can demand “a driver” provide a breath sample on an approved screening device under the federal Criminal Code — but that law does not allow them to make such a demand...

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Drivers face double standard with drug-related suspensions

Kyla Lee DUI Lawyer

B.C.'s Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is looking to change the province's laws so drivers allegedly impaired by drugs can appeal 24-hour roadside suspensions. Both alcohol and drug-related 24-hour suspensions are issued under different parts of Section 215 of the Motor Vehicle Act. While drivers allegedly impaired by alcohol have the right to a review, drivers suspended for drug use either have to convince the ticketing officer to reconsider or file a petition in B.C. Supreme Court for a judicial review. Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee, who specializes in drinking-driving related cases, says the lack of a formal review process places an undue burden on...

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Critics of drunk-driving laws take aim at screening devices

OSMV lying to people

The provincial Justice Minister is standing by the province’s drunk-driving laws despite increasing criticisms of the program over the review process for roadside prohibitions, and concerns about unreliable screening devices. This week, the B.C. Supreme Court quashed a ban that had been upheld after review, because the government had relied on a report that should have been inadmissible in the review process. The ruling could lead to many more bans being overturned, depending how often the inadmissible report had been used. But the program continues to prompt questions. Drivers hit with an Immediate Roadside Prohibition – which can include a driving prohibition...

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Ruling could lead to quashing of hundreds of drunk-driving bans, lawyer says

ASD with persistent temperature problems

Critics of British Columbia’s immediate bans for impaired driving have a new arrow in their quiver in defending drunk-driving bans, after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a government report on the roadside screening devices should have been inadmissible during the review process. The report was used by a government adjudicator to reject an appeal by Angela Buhr that her roadside ban – which included an immediate driving prohibition and her car being impounded on the spot – should have been thrown out because of a problem with the screening device, a portable breathalyzer that critics have argued is...

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