There are new questions about whether innocent British Columbians are being penalized for a crime they didn’t commit.
A Vancouver lawyer says he has proof roadside breathalyzers across the province are unreliable, and the evidence comes right from the police departments themselves.
Lawyer Paul Doroshenko says he’s uncovered new police documents showing thousands of drivers across B.C. may have been tested with faulty breathalyzers.
He says it took four years to obtain freedom of information documents that detail the service and maintenance records of 2,000 breathalyzers used by RCMP across this province
Doroshenko says based on the evidence, every detachment had problems with the breathalyzers, except for two.
“The problem is it might be working today but maybe not tomorrow. They only test it every 30 days and the officers might not know it’s working,” he says.
Under the government’s “immediate roadside prohibition” program, which was brought in four years ago, if you blow .05 you can lose your license for three days and face a $200 fine.
If your blood alcohol limit is over .08 your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days, and you will receive a $500 fine.
Doroshenko says it’s hardly fair if the public can’t trust the devices.
The Premier says the tougher drinking and driving laws still are saving hundreds of lives.
“We have had such great success,” says Premier Christy Clark. “Over 150 people alive today that otherwise wouldn’t be.”
RCMP said in a statement “there are no concerns in regards to the reliability of the test results or the accuracy of the instruments. If you receive an IRP (immediate roadside prohibition) you can request a review.”
Doroshenko says it should be suspended until there’s a fix.
“Right now the province should suspend it, until they come up with a number of fixes.”
Meanwhile if you’re busted drinking and driving, you have the right pull the repair history of your breathalyzer through FOI. However, the process could take months and right now, you only seven days to appeal.
– with files from Rumina Daya