Many people don’t realize the various roadside prohibitions, driving offences or measures the government, or more specifically the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (AKA RoadSafetyBC), can take to revoke a person’s driving privileges. Given how important licenses are to person’s livelihood, we know how important it is to assist our clients get their driving prohibitions cancelled.
Here are the top driving prohibitions we are retained to challenge:
- Immediate Roadside Prohibitions – Section 215 of the Motor Vehicle Act: These can be for a variety of lengths (24-hours to 90 days) and also result in vehicle impoundments for up to 30 days. These take effect immediately after being served by a police officer and can take up to 21 days to get a decision on if they are challenged. They carry significant financial penalties, including up to a $500 fine and a $250 license reinstatement fee. They can also result in a person being required to take an alcohol counselling course, known as the Responsible Driver Program or the Interlock Ignition Program. Both of these are at the driver’s cost. They have a 7 day period for a driver to file an appeal and the burden rests on the driver to prove themselves innocent.
- Notice of Intent to Prohibit / Notice of Prohibitions – Section 93 of the Motor Vehicle Act: If a driver incurs too many driving offences, the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles will send a number of letters to the driver, including a Warning letter, a notice of intent to prohibit or a notice of prohibition. Many people do not realize the impact that their tickets will have on their license until they have paid them and it is too late to dispute. Many drivers do not realize that two or more “High Risk Driving Offences” for “Using an Electronic Device While Driving”, “Excessive Speeding”, “Driving Without Due Care and Attention” or “Driving Without Reasonable Consideration” will result in a person receiving a driving prohibition of 3-12 months. For a Class-7 or “N” driver the rules are even more strict, one High Risk offence will result in a driving prohibition. Additionally if a Class 5 driver receives more than 14 points in a two year period, they run the risk of receiving a driving prohibition. A Class 7 driver can receive one with as little as three points. The policies used in the review of these prohibitions are published here.
- Roadside Prohibitions for Street Racing or Stunting – Section 93 and 251 of the Motor Vehicle Act: An officer can issue a driver a roadside prohibition if they believe the driver was “street racing” or “stunting”. These definitions are broad and can result in an officer impounding the person’s vehicle for 7 days roadside and take their license. The police officer will issue a ticket and request that the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles prohibit the driver for a minimum of 3 months. Essentially this allows for a person to lose their license for an offence even prior to going to court to dispute it on the facts.
The review procedures for the above are varied and many people are left confused about the various processes and defences available. For example, many driver’s try to list the reasons they need a driver’s license when appealing an immediate roadside prohibition, a factor that RoadSafetyBC will not consider at all during its review process. However, these reasons would be relevant when disputing a Notice of Prohibition under section 93 of the Motor Vehicle Act. It is important to deal with these matters promptly to avoid any situation where you are left with a driving prohibition that could have been cancelled. It is important to consult a lawyer experienced with these matters to ensure that every defence available is advanced.
If you have a question about your lost license, prohibition or traffic offense call Michael Thain at 604-LAWYERS