An Analysis of IRP Reviews

While working at the Forensic Laboratory we often would analyze outgoing reports to determine what kinds of issues we were currently being asked to address and to try to anticipate any new developing trends in our work. So crunching numbers and analyzing statistics is something that comes naturally and satisfies my curiosity, even if it has no other practical purpose.


111 IRPs Revoked in August 2015

And so I decided recently to analyse some IRP reviews published by the BC government in response to a disclosure request. The reviews were processed in August 2015 and provided the reasons why 111 IRPs were revoked that month.

Of the IRPs revoked, 19 were Refusal IRPs and the majority, 82, were Fail or Warn IRPs. A smaller number if IRPs were revoked before the review was commenced and weren’t identified as Refusal, Fail, or Warn IRPs.


19 Refusal IRPs Revoked

Of the Refusal IRPs, the majority (about 84%) were revoked because the adjudicator could not be satisfied the driver refused or failed to comply with the demand to provide a breath sample. This means the driver or counsel successfully argued either that the breath demand was not valid, or that the driver cooperated and blew with sufficient force but the device did not accept the breath sample. About 5% were revoked because the driver had an excuse for not complying with the demand, perhaps because of some physical limitation or restriction in their ability to provide the sample. Another 10% were revoked because the officer failed to show the person stopped was “a driver within the meaning of section 215.41(1) of the act”.


82 Fail/Warn IRPs Revoked

Of the Fail/Warn IRPs, the majority (about 65%) were revoked because the ASDs were not reliable. 7% were revoked because the Warn or Fail reading was not caused by more than 50 or 80 mg% alcohol in the blood. About 7% were revoked because the adjudicator was not satisfied the right to a second ASD test was given, or that the test was taken on an different ASD. 21% were revoked because the adjudicator was not satisfied they were “a driver within the meaning of section 215.41(1) of the act”.

So the majority of the revocations were based in some way with problems in the operation or accuracy of the ASDs using information (or lack of it!) based on the documents provided by the police.

The government disclosure documents indicated that 1478 IRPs were issued in August 2015,  and that 111 were revoked. With so high a proportion of IRPs revoked for ASD-related problems, one wonders if even more IRPs could have been overturned had more drivers or lawyers consulted with a Forensic Alcohol Expert.

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