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Breath Testing – Helping Lawyers

Breath_testing_helping_lawyers-300x224We want your clients to succeed. Over .08 defence isn’t just an issue of running Charter arguments. If you’ve been worried about whether you’re missing something, stop worrying, keep reading and then call us.

Breath testing may seem like the most imposing aspect of any drink-drive case, but it can be the key to an acquittal. Problems with equipment and procedure can often be identified by getting the right disclosure and understanding how the equipment works. This is where we help.

Approved Screening Devices

We’ve got Approved Screening Devices both new and old and often police officers let us get our hands on theirs. In our office we’ve got a bunch of Alco-Sensor FSTs, Alco-Sensor IV DWF, Intoxilyzer 400, Draeger Alcotest 7410. We also have some more exotic devices like the Alco-Sensor V XL, Intoxilyzer 200 and Alcolmeter S-L2. We’ve obtained manufacturer’s manuals for many of the ASDs and various iterations of the the RCMP manuals both for operation and calibration.

And we have all of the calibration equipment, gas standards, simulators and alcohol solutions in our office so we can test out theories and defences if necessary. If there’s an issue with the operation or functioning of an ASD we’ll probably find it in the disclosure and if necessary we can do tests in the office.

Approved Instruments

Evidentiary breathalyzers are a goldmine of defences. Despite Vic Toews 2008 changes to the Code to eliminate the Carter defence, evidence to the contrary merely changed form because of new disclosure requirements and advancements in forensic science. Carter may be gone but our courts are not enthusiastic about convicting people who were not over 80mg%.

Best, however, is that R. v. St. Onge Lamoureux made it clear that procedure, maintenance and malfunction are fertile grounds for defences in over 80 cases (either breath or blood when relying on s.258) and that identifying police errors or problems in this area can be the end of the “over 80” count.

Long before the Intox EC/IR II landed in detachments in BC, we had the RCMP manuals (Supervisor, training and operation) and started identifying weaknesses. Back in 2008 we identified a problem with the BAC Datamaster C and our investigations were part of the impetus to replace it with the Intox EC/IR II.

We managed to purchase two Intox EC/IR instruments to add to our collection. We tested them. We took them apart and put them back together. We learned a lot.

In addition we also have several BAC Datamasters on hand, an Intoxilyzer 5000 and even functional Smith & Wesson Breathalyzers.

We have 3 models of simulators, Airgas gas standards and lots of parts and mouthpieces.

We have the operators manuals and the training manuals used to train operators, so you can know more than the Technician.

How we can help your client

We read the disclosure. We will find defences you spot and some you probably won’t. We’ll discuss it with you so you can form your plan to defend your client. Typically we identify further disclosure you can obtain (and we’ll tell you how) so that you’re prepared with a defence to the 253(1)(b) in your back pocket if your Charter arguments fall flat (or it looks that way). We’ll tell you our ideas on how to build the argument, run the argument and we’ll share what we’ve got to put it all together.

We want you to be the hero.

Training lawyers (and even the police!)

We’ve lectured to lawyers on breath testing equipment and collected evidence from all over the place to held defend over .08 cases. We’ve even lectured to the police.

We’re glad to report that many police officers forget the lessons when they go for a muffin and coffee at the break.

This also happens to the lawyers, but you can always call us to go over it again.

Call us for a free consultation and learn how we can successfully defend your IRP, ADP or drinking/driving charge.

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