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  • Stephen Biss

Prima Facie Reliability 2


Some lawyers think that the Alcohol Test Committee 2012 Position Paper states that the defence does not need to obtain any documentation of the evidentiary breath test process other than that produced by the instrument during the subject tests.

In Ontario, scientists from the Centre of Forensic Science are likely to concede, that the results of the three QA (quality assurance) tests, at start of shift are part of the documentation that any expert needs to see in forming an opinion as to the reliability of the tests. These three tests: stand-alone diagnostics, stand-alone calibration check, and stand-alone self breath test are performed in Ontario at start of shift or immediately prior to the subject breath tests by qualified technicians who are following the requirements of the CFS 8000C Training Aid. They should form part of normal Stinchcombe disclosure in Ontario because they are associated with the subject tests of the accused. Both "passed" and "failed" tests should be disclosed. (1)

To the best of my knowledge, these 3 quality assurance tests are not required in other provinces. Please write to me at biss@lawyers.ca if I am incorrect.

On the 8000C with Ontario hardware and software, a stand-alone diagnostics test begins with the keyboard sequence Esc Esc D. Please see page 7-5 or page 82 of 238 in the CFS 8000C Training Aid.

On the 8000C with Ontario hardware and software, a stand-alone calibration check begins with the keyboard sequence Esc Esc C. Please see pages 7-15 to 7-17 and 8-14 or p. 143 of 238 in the CFS 8000C Training Aid.

On the 8000C, with Ontario hardware and software, a stand-alone self breath test is commenced with the keyboard sequence Esc Esc B. Please see page 8-14 or p. 143 of 238 of the CFS 8000C Training Aid.

Warning: These images and videos may not be used in Court. They are not evidence. The author is not an expert witness. These images and videos are for discussion among lawyers.

(1) "Just as it is not for the Crown to withhold a witness statement that contains potentially relevant evidence because, in its assessment, the witness is incredible or unreliable, it is not for the Crown to decide which quality assurance test results that are associated with an accused’s breath tests are worthy of disclosure." R. v. O., 2014 ONCJ 440 at para. 127.

#escescb #reliability #diagnosticsok

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