Month: August 2018

Weird and Wacky Wednesday: Volume Twelve

This week’s weird and wacky roundup of legal cases is quite the diverse bunch. First, we find out that last week’s alligator related stunt is not even close to the worst thing you can do with an alligator. Then, we dive into what not to do during your driving license examination. Finally, we get to examine the issue of white privilege, class, and police treatment through the eyes of someone who is not negatively affected by racism, classism, or police misconduct. This promises to be an exciting post!

Is the Cell Phone Immobilizer Case Doomed On Appeal?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the cell phone immobilizer case. To remind you, a man was acquitted at trial of using an electronic device while driving on the basis of the fact that he had his phone equipped with an app that would disable it from use while driving.

The case received a lot of press, mostly because up until now there have been very few defences in electronic device cases. And the more press a successful case receives, the more likely it seems to be that the Crown considers an appeal. I have no knowledge of whether they are or are not, but it seems to me that one is likely in this case.

And here’s why.

Driving Law with Kyla Lee: Episode

In episode 17 of the Driving Law with Kyla Lee podcast, we talk to Camille Labchuk of Animal Justice about the intersection of animals and the law. Ms. Labchuk and I speak about the law in relation to hot cars and dogs, as well as federal transportation laws involving animals and what obligations transport companies have when it comes to driving animals around. This is a really interesting area where driving and other areas of the law intersect, and the discussion this week is worth a listen.

You can find it on iTunes here and on PlayerFM or SoundCloud.

The Twelve Weeks of DRE-Mas: Breath Alcohol Test

Following last week’s post on the twelve weeks of DRE-mas, I am writing about the first of the twelve steps in this twelve-step program. The first step is a breath alcohol test. Now, I know that some people might think that seems normal: alcohol is a drug, after all. However, a breath alcohol test is actually a built-in safeguard because it’s common for police to get it wrong.

This is is the idiot-proofing step.

Weird and Wacky Wednesdays: Volume Eleven

This week’s roundup of weird and wacky legal cases makes you question whether drinking is really a good idea after all. We feature two foolish men who did something dumb enough to get them arrested, after drinking. And then, just for good measure, we examine the case of a man who won $350,000 from his ex-girlfriend, after she hacked into his email.

A Recent Traffic Court Appeal Ruling May Spell Problems for Dozens of Convictions

Today the BC Supreme Court released its reasons in the case of R. v. Singh. The BC Supreme Court allowed an appeal from conviction and, instead of remitting the matter for a new trial in traffic court the Supreme Court entered an acquittal. The reason for the acquittal was that there had been a miscarriage of justice.

This decision poses a significant problem for numerous traffic court convictions that have come before and since. And it may be that hundreds of traffic ticket convictions must be overturned based on today’s ruling.

Las Vegas Mass Shooting Lawsuit Wrongheaded and Reprehensible

Reports were released recently indicating that MGM Resorts International has filed lawsuits against the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting. MGM Resorts International is the parent company of the Mandalay Bay resort, which sponsored the Harvest Festival where the shooting victims were found. They were shot from the window of a hotel room in the Mandalay Bay hotel.

After the shooting, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the victims of the shooting and their families, claiming that the hotel was liable for failing to take adequate precaution to protect its guests and festival attendees.

Why a Marijuana Breathalyzer is not an Effective Replacement for Saliva Tests

Since the announcement of the saliva tester for drugs last week, many people have been wondering if there is an effective replacement for saliva testing. The concerns that people have around saliva testing include temperature sensitivity, that the device has difficult operating procedures, and that THC stores in the body over a long period, so the device is not testing actual impairment.
 
Among many other concerns.
 
Some have said that a marijuana breathalyzer will eliminate most of these concerns. After all, a marijuana breathalyser will not produce a piece of evidence, containing a person’s DNA. It will not take as long to take a sample, and it’s a roadside procedure with which we are already generally comfortable and familiar. And California has now unveiled the first marijuana breathalyzer ready for law enforcement use.
 
But the marijuana breathalyzer suffers from flaws too.

The Twelve Weeks of DRE-mas: What is the Drug Recognition Evaluation Program?

In light of the fact that we are but twelve short weeks from cannabis legalization in Canada, I thought that I would start a short new blog series called The Twelve Weeks of DRE-mas. The purpose of this series is to outline the steps of the Drug Recognition Evaluation Program.

The Drug Recognition Evaluation Program is going to be very important post-legalization, as officers across Canada are training at an alarming rate to become qualified in this pseudo-scientific nonsense test for drug impairment. This first post will outline what the Drug Recognition Evaluation Program is, and how it will be used when Bill C-46 becomes law.

So, on the first week of DRE-mas, your DUI lawyer gave to you: a DRE program overview.

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