Vancouver Criminal Law


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IRP Immediate Roadside Prohibition Tag

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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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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Wrongly punished for drunk driving

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Wrongful convictions make for great television dramas. Until about 20 years ago, there seemed to be a significant public appetite to improve the justice system to reduce the risk of wrongful punishment and wrongful convictions. But things changed and we see that our federal government is hell-bent on ensuring people are wrongly punished for drunk driving. You only need to look at Bill C-46 for proof of that. The impudence and sheer in-your-face stupid conceit of C-46 could not have come about if we as a society valued the concept of not punishing the innocent. But despite the television dramas,...

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Innocent of impaired driving in BC

Mouth alcohol from regurgitated stomach contents are a threat to reliable breathalyzer samples

As the annual BC Christmas Counter Attack campaign gets underway, and with the news that Manitoba is introducing an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) scheme modelled on ours here in BC, we thought it was an appropriate time to discuss those who are innocent of impaired driving in BC. An argument we often hear is that people accused of impaired driving and who succeed in challenging the breath-test readings merely got through due to a technicality. The assumption is that an over .08 reading is enough to assume guilt. The problem with that type of thinking is that it ignores the...

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Criminal Code changes: What to expect in December

With all the excitement of marijuana legalization, the media and the public have largely overlooked accompanying legal changes that will have a significant impact on the rights of drivers. Starting in December, amendments to the Criminal Code related to drinking and driving will come into effect. The new rules are a part of Bill C-46, which received Royal Assent back in June. When you examine some of the provisions, you truly wonder just how they got approved. One explanation is that Bill C-46 is an omnibus bill. With the eagerness to push through cannabis legalization, the government was willing to...

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Acumen Law Corporation Pirate Takeover: I Arrr Ps (I.R.P.s)

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The pirate takeover of Acumen Law Corporation's website sets sail with this guide on what to do if you get an I.R.P. If you set sail off the Barnacle Coast (B.C.), the Royal Navy could give you an I Arrr P (Immediate Riverside Prohibition/I.R.P.). Maraudin' Mary Maritime and Impaired Pete the Pirate give some helpful legal advice on what to do if you end up with an I.R.P....

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Judicial Review successes for Kyla Lee of Acumen Law

Regular readers of this blog will be well-aware of our concerns with the adjudication of driving prohibitions by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. Salient legal arguments in Immediate Roadside Prohibition disputes regularly appear to be disregarded or particular issues are scrutinized to the point that other issues are ignored. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that adjudicators are technically civil servants and not legal professionals. Our concerns appear to have been shared by the BC Supreme Court in two recent decisions where driving prohibitions that had been upheld by the Superintendent’s office were then overturned by the court....

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Most Trustworthy: Acumen comes out on top in survey of BC law firms

Acumen Law Corporation was voted the most trustworthy law firm in BC in a recent survey

Lawyers are not always well liked. Over the years we took a lot of hits by MADD, various police officers and others who view us as the lawyers who put drunk drivers back on the road. Sometimes it gets us down. When we succeed, our clients quietly move on and get on with their lives. Sometimes when we don’t succeed, a small number of people get the real hate on for us. We stick our necks out in our area of the law. Curious about how we were viewed, particularly how we were viewed relative to other law firms that also...

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Victory for Acumen lawyers in government disclosure inquiry

The OIPC decision

The BC government will have to disclose information pertaining to the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) scheme following a successful inquiry by Acumen Law. Lawyer Kyla Lee and articling student Emma Wilson successfully argued for the release of certain attachments to government correspondence that could reveal the decision-making process behind the controversial program. The Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) granted their application, on Tuesday – more than a year after the inquiry was submitted. The decision could prove to be significant given the government fought tooth and nail to keep the information under wraps. Kyla made a Freedom of Information request to the...

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Police used the same breathalyzer for my second sample


We were disappointed to see a decision in the BC Supreme Court in June that held police do not have to offer the full details of the rights available to someone who blew their first fail into an Approved Screening Device. In BC, if police demand a breath sample on suspicion of drug or alcohol impairment and you blow a “warn” or “fail,” you have a right to provide another breath sample, into a different breathalyzer. Police are required to accept the lower result of the two. Unfortunately, police are only required to tell you that you can provide another breath...

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