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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 11-27-2011, 09:35 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - The Approved Screening Device

Much has been written recently about the Approved Screening Device being used by police to test drivers under the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program. Many are curious about how it works, and those that have been tested were quite often surprised at the result. The authority for the screening comes from section 254 of the Criminal Code.

Where a peace officer reasonably suspects that a person who is operating or has care and control of a motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft, or is assisting in the operation of an aircraft, whether it is in motion or not, has alcohol in his body, the peace officer may demand that the person provide a proper sample of breath to be analyzed in the roadside screening device. The peace officer may also demand that the person accompany him to enable the sample to be taken.

Every one commits an offence who, without reasonable excuse, fails or refuses to comply with the demand made to him by a peace officer. The courts have held that it is a reasonable restriction on a persons rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that the sample be provided without being entitled to consult counsel. This means that it is not an excuse to refuse because you haven't talked to a lawyer first.

The Motor Vehicle Act leaves a police officer making a roadside breath test under the Criminal Code no discretion. Depending on whether the test results in a warn or a fail, they must take possession of the driver's license and issue the appropriate prohibition document. The requirement to prohibit also applies if the driver refuses without lawful excuse to provide a proper breath sample.

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Old 11-28-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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It's interesting that while a "screening device" cannot be used for criminal convictions, it can be used to impose stiff immediate penalties amounting to thousands of dollars with virtually no opportunity for the device or procedure to be challenged in court.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:35 PM   #3
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It's interesting that while a "screening device" cannot be used for criminal convictions, it can be used to impose stiff immediate penalties amounting to thousands of dollars with virtually no opportunity for the device or procedure to be challenged in court.
Take your paranoia elsewhere, its become lame. Since the new laws drinking and driving fatalities are way down - end argument.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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TheSpec - Study: Impaired drivers non-responsive to tough...
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:23 PM   #5
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Your source doesn't address the number of drivers who have never driven while intoxicated that has been discouraged from doing so thanks to the stiff penalties. It only addresses repeated offenders.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:02 PM   #6
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I wonder if Sebberry would change his opinions if his child/spouse/sibling werre to be killed by an impaired driver. Or maybe if he had to pull a lifeless bloody rag of a body out of a vehicle that was just smashed by an impaired driver. Or maybe if he had to wake some poor parent up at 4am and tell them their 18 year old daughter is dead and they'll never see her again.

The immediate prohibitions are saving lives... licence immediately gone and vehicle immediately gone.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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Question:
The vehicle does not need to be in motion, it only needs to be in the car and control of a person who an officer suspects to be impaired; if a person passes out in a car with the keys not in the ignition, could they be charged with impaired driving?

Also, Sebbery is diluted.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MindBomber View Post
Question:
The vehicle does not need to be in motion, it only needs to be in the car and control of a person who an officer suspects to be impaired; if a person passes out in a car with the keys not in the ignition, could they be charged with impaired driving?

Also, Sebbery is diluted.


Would you lay down for a nap in front of the tires of a truck with an intoxicated person passed out in the front seats? I wouldnt. All things have to be taken into consideration... Where is the car parked, is it on a hill, can it be knocked into gear, where are the keys, and if this person has had 12 beers (enough to make someone "pass out") are they going to sleep in their car for 12+ hours prior to putting the keys in the ignition?

I've let it slide when I found a guy sleeping in the back seat.... he had thrown the keys into the bushes, was parked in an empty and flat gravel parking lot, had a pillow and a blanket (showing intention to sleep in the car rather than drive). I'm not sure if he ever found his keys though...
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Your source doesn't address the number of drivers who have never driven while intoxicated that has been discouraged from doing so thanks to the stiff penalties. It only addresses repeated offenders.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatune View Post
The immediate prohibitions are saving lives... licence immediately gone and vehicle immediately gone.
It also doesn't consider that for the time these people are in jail, they are not driving drunk. The Conservatives want tougher sentences, lockup repeat drunk drivers for 25 years, that'll keep them off the road.

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I wonder if Sebberry would change his opinions if his child/spouse/sibling werre to be killed by an impaired driver. Or maybe if he had to pull a lifeless bloody rag of a body out of a vehicle that was just smashed by an impaired driver. Or maybe if he had to wake some poor parent up at 4am and tell them their 18 year old daughter is dead and they'll never see her again.
I could post the studies that show drunk driving fatalities are way down since the new laws were enacted, yet sebberry values his paranoia over lives.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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Would you lay down for a nap in front of the tires of a truck with an intoxicated person passed out in the front seats? I wouldnt. All things have to be taken into consideration... Where is the car parked, is it on a hill, can it be knocked into gear, where are the keys, and if this person has had 12 beers (enough to make someone "pass out") are they going to sleep in their car for 12+ hours prior to putting the keys in the ignition?

I've let it slide when I found a guy sleeping in the back seat.... he had thrown the keys into the bushes, was parked in an empty and flat gravel parking lot, had a pillow and a blanket (showing intention to sleep in the car rather than drive). I'm not sure if he ever found his keys though...
Great explanation, thank you!

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It also doesn't consider that for the time these people are in jail, they are not driving drunk. The Conservatives want tougher sentences, lockup repeat drunk drivers for 25 years, that'll keep them off the road.
I could post the studies that show drunk driving fatalities are way down since the new laws were enacted, yet sebberry values his paranoia over lives.
At what cost?

Easily, $100k per year to imprison a person, potential loss of an otherwise productive member of society, and speaking reasonably, most chronic drunk drivers are alcoholics which is a recognized disease. When the offenders are eventually released, they're a fundamentally unemployable person with little or no prospects to better themselves, draining society further through any number of ways. Quite likely returning to alcoholism, I would in that position, what would I have to live for.

I support strengthening legislation against chronic offenders, but the focus should be on rehabilitation, not punishment. Mandatory rehab, followed by close supervision by an addictions counselor, permanent driving bans, bans from owning and insuring vehicles; basically everything short of prison. Also, I'd like to see more check points, I've only been through two in the last year.

Those who advocate punishment and segregation from society, look at the Americans, how's that working out for them?

I lost a family member to a drunk driver, I know the consequences, I just don't see how incarcerating anyone except hardened criminals could benefit society.

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Old 11-28-2011, 09:36 PM   #11
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It's interesting that while a "screening device" cannot be used for criminal convictions, it can be used to impose stiff immediate penalties amounting to thousands of dollars with virtually no opportunity for the device or procedure to be challenged in court.
There's a really simple way to avoid those thousands of dollars of penalties... just read my sig!
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:13 PM   #12
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What I find stupid is the fact that when people go to jail for killing someone while behind the wheel, they get a driving ban that is concurrent with their sentence.

So, if you get 2 years of jail but you also get a 5 year driving prohibition that is served concurrently, it's just so stupid.

I mean like the first 2 years, you're in jail, how the heck would suspending you from driving during that time do anything!

If you get a 5 year driving ban to go with your jail time, that ban should start when you get out of jail.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:04 PM   #13
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At what cost?
Put a price on the life of someone killed by a repeat offender, and that's the cost.

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Originally Posted by MindBomber View Post
Easily, $100k per year to imprison a person
Rehabilitation costs $$$ and does not work for repeat offenders. My roommate is a parole officer, he sees it first hand. The only want to deal with the worst of the repeat offenders is to remove them from society. permanently would be best.

There's lots of great studies that show rehabilitation only works so well in certain cases - and chronic repeat offenders cannot be rehabilitated.

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potential loss of an otherwise productive member of society, and speaking reasonably, most chronic drunk drivers are alcoholics which is a recognized disease.
Speaking reasonably most alcoholics are not productive members of society, society will not miss them.

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I support strengthening legislation against chronic offenders, but the focus should be on rehabilitation, not punishment. Mandatory rehab, followed by close supervision by an addictions counselor, permanent driving bans, bans from owning and insuring vehicles; basically everything short of prison.
Throwing them in prison is cheaper.

Driving bans don't work for chronic repeat offenders. Most people with suspended licenses still drive.

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Also, I'd like to see more check points, I've only been through two in the last year.
x2 I've lived here 3 years and haven't been through 1. I cannot remember how many I went through in Ontario, more than I can count.

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Those who advocate punishment and segregation from society, look at the Americans, how's that working out for them?
Our revolving door system doesn't work much better. I know tough punishment doesn't work, and rehab is the way to go in many cases - yet morally it doesn't make me feel good at all to know someone is out there and could possibly reoffend. I'd rather pay the $$$ to ensure they are locked up with no possibility to reoffend - or better yet I'd rather then removed from society with a bullet. There's enough people in this world, we shouldn't be spending $$$ incarcerating or rehabilitating the worst of society.

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I lost a family member to a drunk driver, I know the consequences, I just don't see how incarcerating anyone except hardened criminals could benefit society.
That sucks, sorry dude.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindBomber View Post
Question:
The vehicle does not need to be in motion, it only needs to be in the car and control of a person who an officer suspects to be impaired; if a person passes out in a car with the keys not in the ignition, could they be charged with impaired driving?

Also, Sebbery is diluted.
If you're at a house party, drunk and walking to your car to get your sleeping bag, you can be charged with impaired driving and would be subject to the same penalties as someone who went through a roadblock while driving drunk.

How's that for diluted?
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:40 AM   #15
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If you're at a house party, drunk and walking to your car to get your sleeping bag, you can be charged with impaired driving and would be subject to the same penalties as someone who went through a roadblock while driving drunk.

How's that for diluted?
No you cannot. That's exactly why you're diluted.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:50 AM   #16
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No you cannot. That's exactly why you're diluted.

Actually you can, and it would be at the discretion of the officer. I am part of Stroh Health RDP program and learned this through the program.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:54 PM   #17
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Actually you can, and it would be at the discretion of the officer. I am part of Stroh Health RDP program and learned this through the program.
"can" is very specific. If you enter the drivers door then an officer "can" rightfully assume that in your drunken state you might have made the choice to drive. Yet since when is your sleeping bag in the driver's seat? Its in the back seat or the trunk.

In all reported cases where someone has been charged with DUI while not actually driving they have had a previous record of DUIs, which then fits the law that police "can" and should charge someone with keys in a vehicle cause that person is likely to drive in a drunken state.

For someone like seberry or myself with no prior DUIs, and we open the trunk to get our sleeping bag, there's no issue so stop being paranoid.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:09 PM   #18
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They say that there has been a 40% reduction in deaths since the new penalties came into place.

I'm assuming that there has been a zero percent increase in drink-driving specific enforcement and that this 40% reduction is solely attributable to people being dissuaded by the stiffer penalties and NOT as a result of extra enforcement?
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:16 AM   #19
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You have the same number of Cops working, they have to spend part of their time doing impaird driving enforcement. I used to have a minimum quota to fill each year and I don't believe they would have lifted it. The lower limit of .05 was always present and that has not changed. What has changed is the fear of getting caught and my Criminology courses and past experience has shown me that this it a major motivating factor to behave....coupled with some costly penalties when caught. Even here on RS the "paranoia" has motivated posters to say they finally will not drive impaired (.05 and above) and risk the cost. If fear of getting caught doesn't work then why do you slow down when you see a Cop car?
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:57 AM   #20
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The reduction in fatalities is, as far as I know, separate of the tougher penalties the Tories want to introduce. BC's tough anti-drunk-driving laws were recently challenged, and passed with the exception of someone who blows a fail, who must now be given the chance to appeal.


The "impounding and fine" for anyone over .05 and under .08 is INCONVENIENCING lots of people who thought that drunk driving was okay.

If you give someone a penalty that they feel is disproportionate, and a long time after they committed the offence, it doesn't prove to be a proper dissuasive element. It's just like speed limits; "if they feel they are unfair, people won't pay attention and will blame others." These days, with the skill of lawyers and the number of appeals that can be made, it can be years before anything happens if anything does at all. Immediate and costly inconvenience will most likely prove to be more effective than jail times or driving suspensions in the long run.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:59 PM   #21
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I used to have a minimum quota to fill each year
Just have to quote this


I bet if you asked people on the street if they knew what the new drink-driving penalties were, many wouldn't be able to tell you.

With the extra powers the police had, combined with the reduction in paperwork, less chance of the case being caught up in court, etc... is there any possibility that the police were simply more aggressive in their enforcement of drink-drivers?


Proponents of the penalties say that the penalties resulted in a 40% reduction in deaths.

My question is how much of that 40% was simply due to extra enforcement that could have been conducted regardless of the new penalties being in place?
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:10 PM   #22
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Actually, I would occasionally have the casual drink when I go out to eat and still drive after. I think I would have been fine even if I went through a road check but now, with the tougher penalties, I dont' want to risk it.

I actually have never drove after drinking any alcohol anymore since they had the tougher laws. I actually just don't drink when I go out to eat unless my wife doesn't mind driving home that night whereas in the past, I might have one drink and still drive.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:12 PM   #23
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I bet if you asked people on the street if they knew what the new drink-driving penalties were, many wouldn't be able to tell you.
But they do know that they shouldn't do it because they would get fucked in many dimensions not just their wallet.

I know if I drink even just one cocktail then drive, there's a high chance that I would crash into something. Your mind is not only dealing with driving with poor judgment of your surrounding thanks to the alcohol, it's also even more occupied because of the fear of getting caught. And if I get caught then I'd be pretty fucked.

And then you have many aggressive drivers who see you as a normal driver and not a buzzed or drunk driver. They pull douchebag moves without taking extra cautions because they don't know you're a goddamn hazard on wheels. The variables all adds up.

I'm all for punishing poor drivers and that includes buzzed/drunk drivers. Drag them to hell and set them on fire.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:16 PM   #24
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[quote
My question is how much of that 40% was simply due to extra enforcement that could have been conducted regardless of the new penalties being in place?[/quote]

An average impaired criminal code prosecution with a trip back to the office for the datamaster, waiting for lawyers, waiting for 17 minutes between tests, release papers, faxing of 215 forms, Crown Council report, PRIME file, etc etc etc was good for a minimum of 10 hours per charge. You were off the road and unavailable immediately for a minimum of 3 hours. The new roadside suspensions can be completed at roadside in about 30-40 minutes. Not unheard of to process 3 or more per shift in high drunk areas. That alone accounted for more impaireds per shift.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:55 PM   #25
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As Zulu mentioned, the amount of time we spend looking for/enforcing hasn't increased. But with the shortened processing time, we can catch and deal with more of them, thereby getting more impaired drivers off the road.
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