September 2015

The Police Never Have Bias… or do they?

I had the interesting experience in the last few weeks, while arguing a judicial review of an Immediate Roadside Prohibition decision, to gain some insight into the Government’s position regarding whether police officers can be biased. In Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases, the police are required to send in calibration records for the machines that the officer used to test the subject. Those calibration records are prepared by police officers from the same detachment as the officer issuing the IRP. On some occasions, the calibration records are prepared by the officer who issued the IRP.

The arguments were largely extraneous to the issues in the court case, but it was interesting to hear what the Government’s position seems to be.

Traffic Court Excuses That Never Work: Cell Phone Ticket Edition

There is a great deal of misunderstanding out there about what is lawful and not lawful when it comes to cell phones and vehicles. And in traffic court I get the benefit of hearing some of the excuses that people come up with for why they were using a cell phone while driving. I also get to hear a lot of the… creative arguments that people tend to come up with to suggest they weren’t using a phone. Here are some of the most common ones that definitely do not work.

Impaired Care and Control – When Being in Your Vehicle Becomes Drunk Driving

As we move into the fall and winter months and the weather becomes colder the issue of sleeping in a running vehicle after drinking also becomes more prevalent. A lot of clients have found themselves with an Immediate Roadside Prohibition or facing criminal charges after making the decision to sleep in their vehicle.

This is a complex area of the law. The purpose of this post is to add some clarity to the issue so that people can understand how sleeping in your vehicle can quickly turn into an impaired driving investigation.

Common Misconceptions about Drinking and Driving

In our law office, we deal with more roadside drinking and driving cases than any other law firm in the province. As a result, I probably speak with more people about drinking and driving in a month than many lawyers will in a year. I’ve come to realize that there are some very common and pervasive misconceptions about drinking and driving that exist in our province. This post will help to dispel a lot of those myths.

Delay to Your Traffic Ticket Case

Proponents of the new changes to BC’s traffic ticket dispute process argue that the new system will decease the number of delays in bringing traffic ticket cases to court. There is no doubt that, particularly in the Lower Mainland, there is a significant problem with delay in the processing of traffic tickets, and the timelines to get your ticket to court. But, for the reasons discussed in this blog post, the delay in the system doesn’t lead to many tickets being dismissed and doesn’t often create significant prejudice to an applicant. Clearing up traffic court delay is a straw man argument designed to keep people from coming up with workable solutions to the problems in traffic court.
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