For the second time in a year, the Port Moody Police Department has come under scrutiny for how the force handles roadside breathalyzers.
Last week, it was revealed the department had issues with the calibration expiry date on the machines, after a Vancouver lawyer notified the media with his findings from immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) documents he received in August.
On Monday, the department issued a statement acknowledging an "administrative error" with nine IRPs.
Port Moody Police spokesman Const. Luke Van Winkel said, as important as it is to make sure the documentation is filled out correctly, the mistake doesn't have as much to do with maintenance of the equipment, or whether they are working and calibrated.
Instead, he called it a clerical error.
"This was a simple human error in somebody who filled in a couple of forms incorrectly for a period of time," Van Winkel told The NOW.
After it was pointed out last week, Van Winkel said steps were taken by the department to remedy the situation, including contacting the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV).
"I believe the public should still have confidence in the ASDs (approved screening devices), the system and their police department," he said.
"Unfortunately human errors happen. It's how we deal with those mistakes that lends itself to public trust."
Van Winkel said he was unaware if the officer faced any discipline for the mistakes. The department also said none of the ASD's used were past their annual service expiry date.
There are two expiration dates for an ASD, a calibration expiry date and a service expiry date.
According to the department, the documents in question are the certificates of a qualified ASD calibrator.
The officer responsible for completing the certificates made an error when inputting the expiry date information.
Specifically, the "certificate of qualified ASD calibrator" form has two locations to enter an expiration date. The ASD service expiry date goes on the top left of the certificate, while the ASD calibration expiry date goes on the bottom.
The department said the officer in charge wrote the calibration expiry date twice on the form, leaving the manufacturer's service expiry date off.
But Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko, who brought the errors to the media's attention in the first place, is calling for all the prohibitions, which were handed out by the department since June 15, to be lifted.
"Something like this comes up where you can see the police have been doing it again, just like last time, not following the correct procedure, what happens? People end up stuck," he said.
IRP's were reinstated in June after the province made changes to laws in response to a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that inadequate appeal mechanisms made the provisions unconstitutional.
Doroshenko also suggested the superintendent's office should take initiative and pull every IRP file from the Port Moody police and cancel the prohibitions.
"Once again we see they [Port Moody police] either don't know what they're doing- my sense is they weren't even bothering to calibrate them [ASDs]," he said.
"It just inspires absolutely no confidence," he said.
Doroshenko has always maintained the screening devices were meant to determine if a driver should be taken back to a police detachment to blow into a machine that can calibrate itself.
The issue of problems with the approved screening devices surfaced last October, after media outlets suggested there was a flaw in the department's "process for calibrating approved screening devices."
At the time, the department called in the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner and an outside agency to conduct an investigation. In June, the department released a statement requesting further investigation.
The release did not note any findings or elaborate on any specifics contained in the report, nor did the department offer any details on the next steps in the investigation.