Lawyer wants Port Moody drunk driving bans overturned
RCMP Cnst. Faz Majid performs a breathalyzer test on Lisa Bezanson during a roadside check in Surrey, B.C., just before midnight on Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)
Published Thursday, September 13, 2012 6:34PM PDT
A Vancouver lawyer is calling for all Port Moody impaired driving bans issued since June 15 to be overturned, CTV’s Investigators have learned.
Paul Doroshenko recently won a case for a client who failed two breathalyzer tests in that Metro Vancouver municipality in August. Doroshenko reviewed maintenance documents for the screening devices that registered a fail and found that the police officer had changed the service expiry date for them. The devices are supposed to be serviced once a year.
Doroshenko argued the results were therefore unreliable, and the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles agreed. Doroshenko’s client got his licence back.
“You have no idea whether the device has been properly serviced,” said Doroshenko.
Through a freedom of information request, Doroshenko obtained the documents for all the Port Moody devices and found discrepancies in all the service expiry dates. He says that casts doubt on all the roadside tests that were conducted in Port Moody since the new legislation came into affect in June.
“Either they don’t know what they’re doing when they’re filling it out, so they’re incompetent, or they’re lying,” said Doroshenko.
“The evidence provided by the Port Moody police does not comply with requirements set out with the new legislation,” he added.
Port Moody Police didn’t want to comment on the matter saying, “The issue is still being assessed and it would be premature to comment without completely understanding its nature and impact.”
This isn’t the first time Port Moody’s handling of the screening devices has come into question.
In October 2011, Port Moody police asked the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner to order an investigation into how they maintained the screening devices after Doroshenko raised concerns about how they calibrated the equipment.
“From September 2010 to October 2011 everyone who blew into a roadside screening device in Port Moody was blowing into a device which was potentially improperly calibrated," the lawyer said.
CTV News has learned that the department decided on disciplinary action for the officer who calibrated the equipment but it’s still reviewing how many drivers were affected and what should happen to them.
“I don’t think the public can have any confidence in this scheme when we repeatedly find these problems,” said Doroshenko.
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