September 2017

Changing the Evidence to Change the Outcome

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the Alco-Sensor FST manual was changed to support a certain unscientific and inaccurate belief about mouth temperature. My concern with any of this is, of course, the fairness of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition review process and whether drivers are given a reasonable opportunity to challenge the apparent results of their breath tests.

Sadly, today I learned of yet another change the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has made to make the review process less effective and fair to drivers. I have to say, sometimes participating in this review process is like attempting to play a chess match with Death, except Death can change the rules of the game at any point.

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Approved Screening Device Mouth Temperature

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about mouth temperature and how it can impact the reliability of a breath test. I wanted to show the impact that even a small change in mouth temperature, from a few seconds of swishing hot water to a few seconds of sucking an ice cube, could have on an blood alcohol reading.

You can see how the results of my blood alcohol test go up and down based on what I put in my mouth in this video. These factors would only have impacted the temperature of my mouth by a few degrees, and the effect was not prolonged. In real-world circumstances, a prolonged impact from increased or decreased mouth temperature may have a more significant impact on the results of the test.

In any event, the proof is in the science. And you can see it here.

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Judicial Justice tries to speed things up, but systemic delays strike again

Earlier this year, a Judicial Justice of the Peace tried to speed a few matters through the court. There were a few traffic tickets that had been in court for nearly two years, and being provincial offences, this meant they passed the 18-month ceiling to qualify as unreasonably delayed.

In Canada, after Supreme Court of Canada in the Jordan decision, this Judicial Justice ordered stays of proceedings for several violation tickets. The tickets were initially issued in 2015 and the drivers who disputed the tickets all had rights to be tried in court within a reasonable time. The alleged offences weren’t extremely serious either: just standard speeding violations and an illegal left-turn.

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