• Stephen Biss

Federal Government Policy and Mandatory Calibration Intervals

Cross-examination of a CFS scientist on the federal Fairness at the Pumps Act and the absence of any mandatory calibration interval for approved instruments, unlike gas pumps and retail weighing machines


To obtain an admission that the ATC Position Paper of 2012 contradicts the federal government policy in the Fairness at the Pumps Act

MR. BISS: Q. Well, I want to suggest to you that government policy with respect to the need for specific calibration intervals and periodic inspection changes from time to time.

A. Absolutely, just like our training aid changes with new scientific information or case law that may come out.

Q. And...

A. Often it’s behind or we’re always reacting to things.

Q. So we have a policy that’s come out from the Alcohol Test Committee in the 2012 position. I want to suggest to you that that policy is inconsistent with the Federal government policy in requiring mandatory inspections of measurement devices in the Fairness at the Pumps Act.

A. Again...

Q. In 2010.

A. We’re talking about a commercial application versus one that’s used for legal purposes.

Q. So why is it that the police don’t have to have mandatory periodic inspection, whereas the gas pump industry does, and whereas retailers selling meat at the meat counter do? I want to suggest to you that government policy in 2010, Federal government policy was that we needed in Canada to amend the Weights and Measures Act to make sure that accuracy of devices, measurement devices, was being confirmed on a regular periodic basis.

A. The Alcohol Test Committee is not part of the government. It’s an independent organization that provides advisory, in an advisory capacity to the Department of Justice with respect to breath testing and blood testing in Canada as well as breath instruments that are used, either as screening devices or as approved instruments for determining a blood alcohol concentration. So it’s not subject to any requirements of the government itself, but it makes scientific recommendations with respect to what has to be done and what needs to be in place and that’s been established a long time ago. Breath testing is not something that’s new or novel, right?

Q. So we have no government regulation, no government rule coming out of the federal government or the provincial government, for that matter, that mandates regular inspection of the forensic science devices that police use as opposed to what’s used to fill up somebody’s gas tank in their car?

A. Correct.

#crossex #calibrationinterval

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