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Roadside Driving Prohibitions – What you need to know from our Vancouver law firm

Posted on August 8, 2012

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Since September 2010, British Columbia has put in place strict impaired driving laws. Further amendments were made to the law in June 2012 to allow for a proper review process. Except in certain circumstances, most individuals who are believed to be driving while impaired will be dealt with by the administrative regime, as opposed to criminal court. Although this means that most people will not be criminally charged with impaired driving any more, there are still real consequences that people need to be aware of when faced with such a situation.

What you need to know at the roadside from our Vancouver law firm

An officer can demand that you provide a breath sample into an approved screening device (ASD) if he has a reasonable suspicion that you have alcohol in your body while operating a motor vehicle. If you have recently consumed alcohol, it may affect the reliability of the ASD result. The officer must wait 15 minutes from the time of your last drink to take a sample.

Once you have provided the first sample, the device will show one of three results: a digital reading if your blood alcohol level is below 0.06, a WARN if it is between 0.06 and 0.10, or a FAIL if over 0.10.  If the device registers a FAIL, you will likely receive a 90 day prohibition and all of the other consequences associated with it.

If the device registers a WARN or a FAIL, the officer must advise you that you have the right to provide a second sample into a different device.  There is no real downside to providing a second sample, as the lower of the two results will dictate the prohibition imposed, if any.

What are the consequences of providing two FAIL samples

If you provide two FAIL readings, the officer will issue you a 90 day immediate roadside prohibition. You will not be able to drive starting at that moment. In addition to the lost of your license, you will face the following other consequences:

  • Impoundment of your vehicle for 30 days;
  • License reinstatement fee of $200;
  • Administrative Penalty of $500;
  • Requirement to take the Responsible Drivers Program (approx cost $880)
  • Requirement to install the Interlock Ignition Device for a period of one year (approx cost $1,730)

Given the serious and long lasting consequences that an Immediate Roadside Prohibition can have on your ability to drive and your life, it is important that you speak with experienced counsel right away to see if anything can be done to dispute it.

What you need to know to file a dispute

It is very important that you act quickly after receiving any prohibition from a police officer. In most cases, you only have seven days from the time you receive the prohibition to file a dispute.

The officer is required to submit a sworn report to the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles which provides the basis for upholding the prohibition. An experienced lawyer can help you review the report and see if there are any defenses available to you.

Need a reliable Vancouver law firm? Contact Mitch Foster

If you received a driving prohibition from the police and need help from an experienced impaired driving lawyer in Vancouver who has worked on many impaired driving matters, Mitch Foster is the right choice. Contact Mitch Foster today to receive a free no obligation consultation and see how we can help you.