At a time when everyone was distracted by cannabis legalization and the impending changes to the Criminal Code to allow random breath testing, the BC Government quietly enacted some changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to make it harder to dispute a 24 hour for drugs.
These changes deserve attention and explanation. Because as a result of cannabis legalization, it is inevitable that more people will be facing 24 hour prohibitions from driving.
Since there have been several cases now of people ticketed for having cannabis in a vehicle, and since I have now received several inquiries from clients charged with these provincial offences, I thought it would be prudent to write a short blog post outlining your right to transport cannabis in your vehicle.
This week's edition of Weird and Wacky Wednesdays focuses on one thing in particular. As we inch closer to cannabis legalization, I thought I would break down three very weird, very wacky cases involving cannabis and the law. Because you can't get much better than a super high person doing something super funny... except when they do it in Florida, of course.
So, in honour of cannabis legalization, read on and find out more about crazy cannabis crimes!
The next step in the Drug Recognition Evaluation is to check the subject's body for muscle tone. The rationale behind this is that some drugs will make your muscles rigid and some will make them flaccid, and that will help the DRE officer determine the class or category of drug that a person has taken.
In Canada, this step is combined with the next of the twelve steps, which is to take the subject's pulse and check for injection sites. However, as we are going by the twelve steps individually, I will deal with that next week.
After the preliminary steps are done, taking first pulse and an initial examination, the DRE officer is then able to move on to the more complex eye examinations. The results of these examinations are said to be used to help the DRE officer determine whether a person is impaired by a drug, and identify the class of drugs that is causing the impairment.
Eye examinations are particularly interesting because they do not actually say much about impairment at all. What they do say a lot about is the condition of a person's eyeball and whether that person may have suffered head injuries, has or is suffering a stroke or a seizure, or whether a person may have neurological conditions. Of course, a police officer is in no position to determine any of this.
So read on to find out the three types of eye examinations that are used in the DRE Evaluation.
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.
The Canadian Government announced this week that it has finally chosen the roadside saliva tester for drugs to be used after marijuana legalization this October. The chosen device is the Draeger DrugTest 5000.
This device is subject to numerous flaws. In an earlier blog post, I discussed some of the pitfalls generally with saliva testing, and none of those pitfalls are cured by this device. Now that we know what device is coming, we can identify which specific pitfalls apply to this device and in what way they apply.
The Federal Government has announced a commitment to nearly $1 Million in funding for research into cannabis impairment. And while it is nice to see the government finally direct money toward studying this important issue, it is also a little bit frustrating. In reality, the decision to do this, at this stage of the game is far too little, too late.
A significant issue that has arisen since the announcement of legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada has been cross-border travel. The United States government still considers cannabis to be an illegal drug, and those who admit to using cannabis and working in the cannabis industry face the potential of lifetime bans on entry into the United States.
Practically speaking, this means that if mom and dad admit to smoking pot, they may be prevented from taking the kids to Disneyland on the family vacation. Or a person who works at a dispensary may be denied entry and not permitted to travel to the United States for a medical procedure not available in Canada.
The consequences are significant and there is a lot that is unknown about how Canadian legal cannabis use will impact border travel.
In the spirit of reefer madness and fear-mongering, the decision by the Canadian Senate to back down from their amendments to marijuana legalization has already sparked debate about carange on our roadways. But does the effective legalization of marijuana in Canada pose any realistic risk?
Frankly, that's doubtful.
This is not another article about the science behind marijuana and driving impairment. What it is instead is a look into Canada's impaired driving legislation that already exists, to see how there is already an effective enforcement scheme set up in our existing laws. What the Federal Government is proposing in Bill C-46 for an overhaul of impaired driving legislation is just not necessary.
And here's why.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer with a focus on impaired driving, cannabis legalization and related issues, and immediate roadside prohibition defence.