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Der Barristers
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At Der Barristers, we have the unique experience of knowing criminal law from both sides – defence and prosecution.
At Der Barristers, we have the unique experience of knowing criminal law from both sides – defence and prosecution.

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New Bill Proposes Roadside Mouth Swabs To Detect Cannabis:
If you are concerned about the safety measures Canada will implement after the legalization of recreational cannabis, a new bill aims to put your concerns at ease. The proposed bill, known as Bill C-46, outlines a means of detecting cannabis in drivers on the road.
The bill was proposed shortly after Canada announced it would legalize recreational cannabis, but was delayed due to the lack of a suitable product to detect the substance. A Proven Method Of Detection According to an article posted by The National Post, a suitable device was recently identified, tested, and proposed to the government. The device, known as the Draeger DrugTest 5000, was created by a team of toxicologists and safety experts in Germany. It works by swabbing the inside of the mouth to detect the presence of a main “psychoactive” ingredient in cannabis, known as THC. Other Detection Options? The device is already in use in other countries around the world. However, it's not the only device of it's kind on the market. The Canadian government is also looking at other types of technology to police the use of recreational cannabis before October 2018. What Happens If Roadside Swabs Are The New Normal? Failing a roadside mouth swab test would result in valid grounds for a police officer to detain a suspected driver for further testing. Currently, police officers are using sobriety tests to detect for drug intoxication. Should the bill be passed into law, further training would be required before you start seeing the devices on police officers. If you should find yourself in a situation where you are facing charges for impaired driving, s important that you know how and when police officers are allowed to conduct roadside impairment tests, and how this new bill may impact your rights going forward.
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Driver charged in Humboldt Broncos bus crash:
The driver, whose truck was involved in the collision with the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, has been charged with one count of dangerous driving causing death for every person who died and one count of dangerous driving causing injury for every person who survived but was injured.
Dangerous driving is a Criminal Code offence in Canada and is often confused with Careless Driving which is a Provincial traffic offence. Careless Driving, like most traffic offences under provincial legislation, is punishable by way of a fine of not more than a $2,000 fine or jail to a maximum of 6 months jail. Dangerous Driving, on the other hand is punishable for a maximum of 14 years jail for death and 10 years jail for bodily harm. Careless Driving is committed by driving without "due care and attention" or without "reasonable consideration for other users of the road". Dangerous Driving is loosely defined as driving in a manner that is "dangerous to other users of the road based on the nature, condition and use of the road at the time." What amounts to Dangerous Driving therefore, varies with the circumstances for any road at any given time. For example, driving on a major freeway at 100 km/ph on a summer day is entirely within the law. However, travelling at the same speed on the same road in winter blizzard conditions, where visibility is next to nil could be Dangerous Driving. The legal test to prove Dangerous Driving requires that the driving be a "marked departure" from the standard of a reasonable person in the same circumstances. The Judge or Jury will look at what the accused driver did and compare that to what a reasonable person would have done in the same circumstances. If the accused's driving was a marked departure from the reasonable person, the offence of Dangerous Driving is made out. In the case of the truck driver involved in the bus crash, whether what happened amounts to Dangerous Driving will be determined by the many pieces of evidence. Where road conditions are good and if travelling at the posted speed, or close to, will not likely in itself amount to "dangerous" within the legal definition. What could make the driving dangerous however, is a failure to stop at the stop sign or if the speed was excessive. All the circumstances that existed will be scrutinized. It is important to understand that a conviction for Dangerous Driving is not arrived at by working back from the consequences. Whoever is deciding the case, be that a Judge or a Jury, must dispassionately review the evidence and strictly apply the law to it. In a tragedy of this magnitude, dispassionately judging the case is not going to be an easy task. Judges, however, are specifically trained to not let emotions make their decisions. This is one of the strengths of our justice system in Canada. Dispassionate decision making is part of what makes the system fair. Solid representation for accused persons is also an important part of our system of justice. Defence counsel are there to represent the interests of the accused and provide a check and balance to ensure individuals' rights are respected. At Der Barristers we take that responsibility very seriously and strive to provide the best representation possible to all our clients.
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