Port Moody Police finally admit miscalibrating their ASDs
An important victory for anyone who received an IRP for Fail or Warn between September 20, 2010 and October 2011: the Port Moody Police have finally admitted miscalibrating their ASDs.
We have the press release here. They sent the press release to the local media today (1.5 months after they concluded the investigation) perhaps because it’s earthquake and flood week. In any event, even if it only makes it into a few news sources, it’s important as a step toward vindication for the people who suffered from these wrongly-issued IRPs.
Of course, we revealed the problem back in October 2011: Port Moody to check drink-screening devices
Because of our bringing this matter to the attention of the media, an investigation was instigated: Investigation over Roadside Suspensions
We explained the problem which isn’t particularly complex: Port Moody Police and improperly calibrated ASDs
And we asked them to come out and admit that they have a problem so that the people who were wrongly issued IRPs in this period could start taking steps to mitigate the damage: Admit you have a problem
That was in January 2012. When February came along they still hadn’t done anything to redress the damage they had caused so many people, therefore we put it out there again along with the information we obtained about the investigation that again confirmed what we argued all along: Port Moody ASD update
Finally, we concluded that they wanted to bury the story. They knew what they had done, but they wanted to buy time to wait until the heat is off the fire, so to speak: All the news that’s fit to bury
We concluded that if they ever released anything, it would be on a busy news day, such as yesterday (remember earthquakes and floods? You don’t get better than that to push an ASD story to the back page) See: Calibration
Then silence. The Port Moody police apparently told some members of the media that they would release the information in early September, 2012, (when everything was complete) but nothing came. In August we revealed that despite all that had happened, they were still doing things wrong — not completing their evidence correctly. We posed the question whether they were lying or in some respects incompetent. Turns out it was the latter.
Finally, after so many months the Port Moody Police admit miscalibrating their ASDs in a quiet press release.
What does this mean for all of the people who received IRPs in Port Moody from September 20, 2010 to October 2011? It means that we succeeded in exposing the fact that their roadside breathalyzers were not correctly calibrated, and you were punished on the basis of unreliable evidence.
As we also predicted, instead of trying to help people mitigate the damage, the Port Moody police are in damage control. Instead of notifying everyone and starting to put things right, they are trying to figure out if they can still somehow justify the IRPs. And that could take a long time. Take a look again at the last few lines of the press release.
What happens now is that we are preparing to sue the Port Moody Police to recover damages for the people who were given Warn and Fail IRPs during this period and who were not successful in the dispute before the OSMV tribunal.
Noteworthy is when we argued at the IRP review for Port Moody clients we put all of the evidence to show the miscalibration problem before the tribunal at the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. The evidence was overwhelming. We had the admission of the officer in document form, the documents to show the problem and affidavits to support our client’s position. Still, the response of the Superintendent’s Office was that it was “merely speculative” and they upheld the prohibition.
We have found that the the tribunal at the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles considers omissions of the officer as evidence that something didn’t happen, and actual evidence presented by the defence as something speculative or theoretical that can be dismissed out of hand. So we weren’t surprised when they rejected actual evidence as merely speculative or merely theoretical.
As for the officer who screwed up, we were always of the position that it was a simple mistake that caused a lot of people a lot of pain and suffering (for which they should be compensated, in addition to their out-of-pocket expenses) but that, given the frailties of the IRP scheme, he should not be punished. The Provincial Government should be punished. Not the officer. In any event, he received a “verbal reprimand.”
We expect that it went like this: Hey you. Straighten up there.
Which you might feel makes light of the suffering his mistakes caused so many. But such is the state of matters in BC, even when the Port Moody Police finally admit miscalibrating their ASDs.