This was the Attorney General’s response when we asked her a few weeks ago about a backlog of potentially one-thousand DUI appeal cases.
“But the goal is that it be done quickly so I think you have to test where your allegations are coming from.”
Those allegations came from Acumen Law who provided CKNW with documentation showing there are currently over 1700 accused drunk drivers waiting for an appeal decision.
And some of them have been waiting for years.
Nearly half of 1700 have no set appeal schedule
Five accused drunk drivers have been waiting since 2013 for a decision, which is three years and counting.
As of today another 177 have been waiting for two years and counting. A number which could balloon to 825 by year’s end if there are no decisions for everyone scheduled to meet again with the adjudicator in 2016.
And the people with dates are the lucky ones.
Almost half of the 1700-plus accused drunk drivers have their appeal schedule either marked indefinite or have no date of any kind anywhere.
Whether innocent or guilty accused drunk drivers who launch an appeal can get an interim licence and be back on the road until a decision is rendered.
Lawyer Kyla Lee says a decision is supposed to be rendered within 21 days, yet there are potentially 825 accused drunk drivers possibly hitting the two-year waiting mark by year’s end.
“The table goes as far as extension five for some people. There is nothing in the legislation that allows the superintendent after a first extension is given to then give another extension and another and another. The affect of that is to create an indefinite extension. These people who are getting these extensions and getting a date have a legitimate expectation that they are going to receive a decision on that date.”
Lee says this is happening while innocent people wait to clear their names, or actual drunks head back behind the wheel with an interim drivers license until a decision is rendered.