Few offenses in Canada’s criminal justice process call for greater lawyer expertise than cases involving driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Impaired driving cases are especially complex because they require defense counsel to understand scientific, as well as legal processes. The legal issues are wide-ranging, involving search and seizure, due process, illegal interrogation, denial of counsel, and evidentiary issues. These legal issues intersect in an impaired driving case with scientific areas of expertise, such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and toxicology, as well as pseudo-scientific areas such as field sobriety testing. Defense counsel must also have a working understanding of the operation of breath test equipment, hospital testing equipment, and instruments utilized by forensic laboratories in the process of testing for intoxicants.
We want to provide a platform where defence lawyers can find information that will help them to develop skills for trial. This includes, but is not limited to, methods for attacking field sobriety tests, breath and blood tests, making opening statements and closing arguments, learning techniques in cross-examining police officers and prosecution experts, and developing and using defense expert witnesses. Sharing this information will make it easier for defence lawyers to share their experiences and findings of law with lawyers across Canada so that lawyers can stand unified in defending the Canadian Constitution.
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