A few years ago, I wrote a blog post on the topic of the second test in an Immediate Roadside Prohibition case. At the time, I discussed how the right to a second test functioned as a double-edged sword. In one sense, it could exonerate you. In another sense, it could become inculpatory evidence.
A lot has changed since that blog post, and I wanted to revisit the question of whether taking a second test is really worthwhile for drivers. My conclusion based on the current state of the law is that taking a second test is a foolhardy idea. It’s a trap.
Today, the BC Government announced its stance on marijuana legalization. Unsurprisingly, the announcement comes with some indication about how the province intends to tackle the issue of marijuana impaired driving.
Without giving away the details, the Government has announced that it will be introducing a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition for marijuana impaired driving. Nothing about this is surprising, as we had long suspected that the so-called success of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition would be translated into drug impaired driving when the time came. However, what is confusing is how the Government expects to administer the law effectively.
If the Government intends to make this a roadside penalty, similar to the IRP scheme, then there are essentially two equally flawed options available to them. If they intend this to be a 90-day prohibition based on a more thorough investigation, then that too holds inherent flaws.
So what are the options?
One of the most difficult questions I get as a lawyer is probably also the most common. I get it from friends, family members, clients, and colleagues. The question is:
What do I say when I go through a roadblock?
It’s a tough question to answer because it lacks a lot of context.
Identity is a big thing in criminal law. There’s always the question of whether someone is in fact who they claim to be. It makes sense. Different people can look alike, and it’s not that unusual to find someone who’s a near-perfect doppelgänger living in the general vicinity of their counterparts. So over the years legislators have developed ways to keep track of individuals with increasingly advanced techniques.
A few months ago, the BC Government announced yet another increase in the penalties for distracted driving tickets in this province. I have previously written about the manner in which these penalties are pretty much a long-con cash grab for government. What the Government hasn’t announced, and what it probably did not know would happen, was the manner in which RoadSafetyBC would step in to craft their own form of severe “justice” in cell phone cases.
BC’s lack of clarification for foreign drivers is definitely confusing. For one, all the Motor Vehicle Act requires is that a foreign driver carries a valid driver’s licence, even if the document is in a different language and police officers are unable to read them. This has caused countless frustrations particularly for visitors to BC who carry valid foreign driver’s licences, but receive traffic tickets for driving without a licence anyways because police officers are trying to be cautious.
This should never have been a problem.
Most developed countries around the world (and even other provinces in Canada) have already figured it out. They all use a little slip of paper called an International Driving Permit, which is a translated document to be carried with a foreign driver’s licence allowing local law enforcement to understand the driving privileges of the holder of a foreign licence.
This past week, a lot of outrage has been expressed online about another sexual assault case. In this case, a young man has been convicted of sexual interference, after he engaged in a sexual relationship with a thirteen year old girl. The matter resulted in a three month jail sentence for the twenty-one year old offender.
Now, it’s hard to imagine that anyone is too upset about a three month sentence for a sexual interference case. What has the public upset is the fact that the imposition of the jail term in this matter is being delayed so that the offender can finish his semester at the University of Calgary. This has the public upset.
In doing a large number of IRP Judicial Review cases, I get a good sense of the overall fairness of the scheme. The issue is not just one of procedural fairness – a legal term of art – but one of the visceral, very real fairness. And although we in the business of the justice system like to talk about fairness in justice, the sad reality is that often there are situations of real unfairness that cannot be remedied.
The promise of legal marijuana by July 1, 2018 appears to have gone up in a puff of smoke. The federal government has manufactured a crisis of drug-impaired driving that has led to the delay in the implementation of the Liberal government’s promise to legalize recreational marijuana.
I say "manufactured" because the crisis upon which they are relying to delay this does not exist.
There are often times when the law says one thing while police officers think another. And one of the more common examples in British Columbia would be the enforcement of the driving privileges of foreigners studying in BC.
BC’s Motor Vehicle Act allows exemptions for those who carry a valid driver’s licence from their home country, and who are also attending a valid educational institution. As long as that criteria is met, the only requirement is that those who hold foreign licences produce their licence if a police officer demands it.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer focusing primarily on DUI, impaired driving, and Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases.