Blog

A Marijuana Breathalyzer? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Over the last several months, numerous articles have been posted discussing the development of a marijuana breathalyzer. The theory is that through the miracle of science (or a complex technical formula the explanation of which is not relevant to this blog post) a sample of a person’s breath will reveal the concentration of marijuana in their bloodstream. This is similar to alcohol breathalyzers, though the process by which the sample is analyzed and the marijuana detected is vastly different.

Many groups like MADD Canada have pushed for a mechanism of roadside testing for drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs. They see the development of these tools as a victory in the battle against impaired driving. But will a marijuana breathalyzer really help anything?

I say no.

A Marijuana Breathalyzer? Don’t Hold Your Breath Read More »

The Supreme Court of Canada Ruling – No Change

When I first read the judgments in the Wilson and Goodwin cases this morning, I thought “Well… that was anticlimactic.”

The short version is that there is no change to the status quo. The legislation that was challenged in the Goodwin cases (the first version of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme) was found to be unconstitutional for the reasons given by Justice Sigurdson. The Court commented specifically that the amendments to the legislation, i.e., the current version of IRP laws, demonstrate that there can be a more reasonable review process. This likely shuts down any further challenges to the current version of the law.

As far as Wilson is concerned, the Court concluded that the argument suffers from a fatal flaw: the legislation is not ambiguous. I knew going in that I had a tough, mostly impossible case. Getting leave to have my argument heard was a surprising feat. I am not disappointed with the work I did, and I fought to the end for my clients and a cause that I believe in. As a lawyer, that’s my job and I did it as well as I possibly could have. I have confidence that the Supreme Court of Canada is applying the law fairly and correctly and hearing all cases with an open mind.

Still, to be human means it’s hard to not get the result you want. Many people do not realize that being a lawyer is like riding a roller coaster every day. There are highs when you are victorious for your client, and lows when you are not.

So going forward I continue to do what I’ve been doing all along: representing my clients to the best of my ability and continuing to challenge the Immediate Roadside Prohibition law and any other law that impacts the rights and freedoms of drivers in this province.

The Supreme Court of Canada Ruling – No Change Read More »

The Wilson Decision – Yes, No, or Something? 

Today we got word from the Supreme Court of Canada that they will be giving their decision in the Wilson v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) and Goodwin v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) cases on Friday morning. This news confirms my earlier predictions and suspicions that the decision would be rendered in October.

We will finally have an answer from Canada’s top court on the legality and proper process of British Columbia’s DUI law.

The Wilson Decision – Yes, No, or Something?  Read More »

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.

The Police Never Have Bias… or do they? Read More »

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.

Traffic Court Excuses That Never Work: Cell Phone Ticket Edition Read More »

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.

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

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.

Common Misconceptions about Drinking and Driving Read More »

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.

Delay to Your Traffic Ticket Case Read More »

Your Right to Silence in Police DUI Investigations

As a dedicated driving lawyer, I deal with a lot of people who have got themselves into hot water for what they’ve said to police. A lot of my clients ask me what they are supposed to say when they have been stopped at a roadblock. While I can’t really answer what you’re supposed to say, since there doesn’t seem to be a helpful answer, I can provide some information on what you have to say when you’re stopped by police or when you are asked about drinking.

Your Right to Silence in Police DUI Investigations Read More »

Drug Impaired Driving Part 2: Disputing a 24 Hour Prohibition for Drugs 

I deal with a fair number of 24-Hour Prohibitions for Drugs in the course of my work. These types of prohibition are dangerous, in my opinion, because they can happen to anyone at any time or place on a roadway. They also involve greater consequences than what is told to the driver at the time the prohibition is issued. And disputing them is a complex and often expensive process, with results that do not really address the concerns a dispute process should. I’ve previously written about drug-impaired driving laws in Canada, and promised that I would follow up with more information about the 24-Hour for Drugs dispute process.

Drug Impaired Driving Part 2: Disputing a 24 Hour Prohibition for Drugs  Read More »

Scroll to Top
CALL ME NOW