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The importance of disputing a driving prohibition for DUI

There are a couple of types of driving prohibition for DUI that are issued by the police in British Columbia. The most common is the 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) issued on the basis of  roadside breath test. The second most common is the 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP) issued once the driver has been taken back to the police detachment. In both cases there are pragmatic and strategic reasons to dispute a driving prohibition for DUI in BC. Aside from the loss of driving privileges, there are long-term consequences few people consider.[pullquote]ICBC premiums will increase substantially if you have...

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Adult criminal and youth court statistics shed light on R. v. Jordan

New statistics have shed light on the Canadian justice system in the years prior to a Supreme Court decision that set time limits on the completion of criminal charges. Adult criminal and youth court statistics in Canada, 2016/2017, were released yesterday. They show the time taken to complete a charge – that is the time between a formal accusation against an accused person or company and a final decision – increased in both adult criminal court and youth court cases. In July 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in R. v. Jordan set a presumptive ceiling of 18 months between...

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Government given new deadline for solitary confinement law

The government has been told to come up with new solitary confinement laws in prisons

The Court of Appeal for British Columbia has given the Canadian government more time to enact new legislation to replace its solitary confinement law. A year ago, the BC Supreme Court ruled sections of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that authorize the administrative segregation, also known as solitary confinement, to be unconstitutional. The government was given one year to enact replacement legislation. It filed an appeal with the BC Court of Appeal last November while also introducing Bill C-83 to amend the current Act. On Tuesday. The Court of Appeal for BC dismissed the appeal but extended the deadline for the...

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Bias-free policing

Police officer taking notes at a traffic stop

The changes to the Criminal Code sections on impaired driving that came into effect on December 18, 2018, will have a huge impact on the manner in which investigations, prosecutions and the defence of alleged impaired drivers will be conducted. Many of the more disconcerting provisions have not been discussed in the media. The section of the new law that is particularly controversial is the new mandatory roadside breath test provisions; what is commonly referred to as arbitrary testing. An aspect of the discussion involves concerns about bias-free policing. An unnecessary change The new law eliminates the requirement that the police...

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Consent in Canada

New Year's Eve Party

New Year's Eve is a night when many of us are going out to parties, drinking and partaking in various intoxicants. Traditionally, couples (or friends or even strangers) will kiss at midnight and some of us may end up going a bit farther than that. My post today is going to address the issue of consent, as it relates to sexual activity and sexual assault, so that New Year's Eve and all other nights can be enjoyed by all and without involving the criminal justice system. Lack of consent is what separates legal sexual activity from sexual assault. In other words,...

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The unenviable task of policing

Tough time for cops

One thing lost in the discussion of random breath testing is the impact that this will have on the police. On an interview yesterday on 630 CHED retired traffic cop, Grant Gottgetreu indicated that he is worried about the flood of complaints from people who think they were asked to provide an Approved Screening Device (ASD) breath sample because of ethnicity or some other illegitimate factor. When you think it through, it's a clear unintended consequence of the new arbitrary testing law. If you are part of a minority group and you're asked to provide a breath sample, the first...

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Immediate Roadside Prohibition Challenge Update

Traffic police isse Immediate Roadside Prohibitions

Around this time last year, a BC Supreme Court judge in Victoria heard a week’s worth of arguments in the constitutional challenge to the third version of British Columbia’s controversial Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme. Our office participated with another law office to bring about this challenge to the legislation. As you may recall, in April 2016, the BC Government slyly amended the IRP law to reverse the burden of proof. This meant that rather than require the police officer to submit evidence to prove why the prohibition was to be upheld, a person affected by an IRP would have to...

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Canada’s strict new impaired driving laws

Businessman in jail following Canada's strict impaired driving laws

On December 18, new impaired-driving laws that are stricter than ever before will come into effect. They include harsher penalties, amendments to existing offences and some entirely new offences altogether. You may not have heard about them until now, but you shouldn’t feel bad. There has been virtually no publicity from the government of Canada to make people aware of the new legislation. That’s why we have decided to tell you what to expect if you get pulled over by a police officer from Tuesday onwards. Regular readers of this blog will know we have previously warned people about the changing...

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The drinking driving law landscape is changing

Drinking Driving Law is changing

In less than a week the drinking driving law landscape is changing dramatically and Canadians need to know about it. Most people know the phrase “ignorance of the law is not an excuse.” What it means is that even if you don’t know the law on something, you’re still governed by it. And right now that phrase takes on a special meaning because it applies equally when there is a change in the law. Ignorance of a change in the law is also no excuse. So pay attention because this change to drinking driving law is likely to have an...

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What are the different notices RoadSafetyBC can issue?

Woman shocked at receiving letter from RoadSafetyBC

RoadSafetyBC, also known as the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, is the main government agency responsible for controlling the roads in British Columbia. It has the power to ban drivers who have been deemed high-risk from the road. Drivers are deemed high risk if they accumulate penalty points or they are convicted of certain offences under the Motor Vehicle Act or the Criminal Code such as excessive speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving. There are a number of measures RoadSafetyBC might take to encourage drivers to change their dangerous behaviour before issuing a suspension. These interventions usually take the form of letters...

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