Month: June 2020

The Unintended Race-Based Consequences of ICBC’s Insurance Changes

Last year, changes came into effect with ICBC policies that now require a vehicle owner to list on the insurance policy the other individuals who will drive the vehicle. As most British Columbians are now aware, your insurance rates are directly impacted by the insurance history of the other people that you list.

But the flip side of this is that if you loan your vehicle to someone not listed on the policy, you may be in a situation where the vehicle is uninsured as your coverage will not extend to the unlisted drivers. There are exceptions to this rule, but that can be the case.

The consequence of this is not just that you have to pay more for your insurance. Rather, this gives the police greater authority to conduct arbitrary traffic stops of vehicles. Which also gives the police greater authority to target and harass people of colour.

Weird and Wacky Wednesdays: Volume 108

This week on Weird and Wacky Wednesdays, we look at how Austria’s morality laws really, um, stink. Then we examine a driving offence that even I would struggle to find a defence to. And finally, we head on over to Florida for the case of a man who decided a fake name was better than his real one…  and I’m not sure about that.

Follow the jump to read this week’s roundup of Weird and Wacky legal cases from around the globe.

Alberta’s New Drunk Driving Law Will Ruin More Lives Than It Saves

Alberta’s New Drunk Driving Law Will Ruin Lives

There has been a great deal of discussion about Alberta’s new proposed impaired driving law, and how it will save lives. The government points to the so-called success of the BC Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme as a basis to conclude that imposing these measures to decriminalize drunk driving will lead to fewer impaired-driving deaths.

But the reality is that while it is arguable (though not proven) that more lives will be saved, the outcome will be that more lives will be ruined.

To find out how this law will ruin more lives than it saves, read on.

What is Even Going On With Traffic Court?

Traffic court may be set to get back up and running in BC again. Or is it? Unfortunately, the information that disputants are getting is not clear and not well-organized.

On April 30, 2020, the BC Provincial Court updated its pandemic response procedures and adjourned most court appearances until after July 3, 2020. But one set of court appearances was only pushed forward a few weeks: traffic court.

Traffic court was pushed forward until May 29, 2020 and then again until June 15, 2020.

And on June 12, 2020, the BC Provincial Court released an announcement to the effect that traffic court dates were adjourned. Without a beginning or an end. Just generally adjourned. And no anticipated date of court commencing again.

Weird and Wacky Wednesdays: Volume 107

This week on Weird and Wacky Wednesdays, we look at a legal battle in Vancouver fought over cannabis and a toy store. Then, we go back in time to visit a dispute over meat size…. no, not what you’re thinking. And we top it all off with a Florida woman accused of a hamburger crime.

Follow the jump to read more of this week’s weirdest and wackiest legal cases from around the globe!

Weird and Wacky Wednesdays: Volume 106

This week on Weird and Wacky Wednesdays, we look at a hilarious FBI investigation involving
a homemade explosive and a wild story to explain it away. Then, we look at how a birthday can
be ruined in a very not-mundane way. Finally, we examine the prosecution of Michael Avenatti,
who is accused of violating his bail by defending himself.

Follow the jump to read more of the weirdest and wackiest legal cases from around the globe.

Tips For Peaceful Protesting

Listen to Tips For Peaceful Protesting

I am a supporter of the right to peacefully protest, particularly in support of important causes like Black Lives Matter.

As a criminal defence lawyer, however, I see a lot of people who set out to peacefully protest end up arrested by police. I wanted to write a short blog post to offer some tips to avoid legal trouble while protesting.

Weird and Wacky Wednesdays: Volume 105

This week on Weird and Wacky Wednesdays, we look at Lenny Dykstra. Baseball superstar; legal sufferer. We also look at the case of one young man who spent twenty two hours on a real passion project, in a very interesting set of circumstances. And finally, we have a little chuckle at a pickle that one Massachusetts resident found himself in.

Follow the jump to read more of this week’s weirdest and wackiest legal cases from around the globe!

Phone disabling software while driving not a distracted driving defence

Some Phone disabling software while driving apps are available

The defences available to you if you use a phone while driving grow thinner ever day. You may have heard about phone disabling software you can use while driving. In fact, ICBC even tested an app that would block the use of hand-held devices while driving. The question is: is such software a valid defence to distracted driving?

The B.C. Court of Appeal recently ruled that having phone disabling software is not a defence against use of an electronic device while driving.

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