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.
Last week, we talked about idiot-proofing in the DRE test. This week, we address another step in the Drug Recognition Evaluation that is designed to make sure the police do not completely bungle the test. This is known as the interview of the arresting officer.
In many cases, though not all, the person who makes the arrest of a supposed impaired driver is not trained in the Drug Recognition Evaluation program. As a result of the lack of training, this person cannot administer the test and another officer must be summoned to do it. This will be common in Canada, as after cannabis legalization we will still have very few trained officers in Canada.
So the interview is a very important step.
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.
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 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.
Since the move toward legalization of recreational marijuana began after the last federal election, a lot of discussion has taken place surrounding marijuana-impaired driving. What has never been clear throughout all this discussion is what the existing state of the law is when it comes to cannabis impairment and driving. This has not been assisted by the introduction of Bill C-46, which creates separate offences involving marijuana and driving.
This post breaks down marijuana impaired driving as it currently stands in British Columbia and under federal criminal law.
In Episode Seven of my Driving Law Podcast, I sit down with Paul Doroshenko of Acumen Law Corporation.
We first discuss the Senate Bill S-251, which purports to do away with mandatory minimum sentences and restore discretion to sentencing judges in certain circumstances where a minimum sentence would be inappropriate. Then, Paul and I talk about the future of self-driving cars, and how a Tesla accident may spell the end of them. Finally, Paul and I address the Cannabis Act in British Columbia and how a BC impaired driving decision may shape the future of enforcement under provincial cannabis regulation.
You can listen to the podcast on Player FM, or subscribe on iTunes, or tune in on Soundcloud.
There has been a great deal of discussion about the British Columbia Cannabis Act, but there has not been a solid breakdown of all of the offences under the Act. In an effort to provide a helpful guide, this post summarizes all the offences laid out in the Cannabis Act.
What is particularly interesting about the penalties in the Cannabis Act, is that many of the offences for possession, production, and distribution mimic those in the proposed federal regulations. This would mean that police have the opportunity to charge individuals under the provincial law or the federal law.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer with a focus on impaired driving, marijuana legalization and related issues, and immediate roadside prohibition defence.