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Initial Roadside Prohibitions – IRP’S

Many British Columbians have been affected by changes in the law relating to impaired driving. If police have reasonable grounds to suspect a driver is impaired by alcohol, then they can make a request for a breath sample.

A driver has the option of providing a breath sample or not. If a driver chooses not to provide a breath sample without a reasonable excuse then this is treated as a fail.

Police now use an Approved Screening Device (‘ASD’), which will read either a pass, warn, or fail.

Typically if you blow and the device reads a warn, you are issued a 24 hour suspension.

Although on its face this may seem somewhat less serious, the consequences down the line can have a greater effect. The 24 hour suspension shows up on your driving record which may attract the attention of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles and prompt him to make a decision in relation to your license. Namely, whether a temporary suspension or participation in a driver improvement program is necessary. Unfortunately, the process for appealing 24 hour suspensions is not as easy as disputing a ticket or even 3 month immediate roadside prohibition.   In order to challenge the validity of the 24 hour driving suspension you must petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. We have experience and have had success with our challenge of 24 hour driving suspensions.

If you refuse to blow or you do blow and the device reads a fail, you are issued an immediate roadside prohibition from driving for a period of 3 months. have the opportunity to dispute the immediate roadside prohibition. Once you dispute the immediate roadside prohibition the Office of the Superintendent will send you the case against you including police reports and other information.

Often police will impound the car you are operating for a period of 30 days at the time the IRP is issued, regardless of whether you are the owner.

We have had success in challenging immediate roadside prohibitions and vehicle impoundments.

3 months immediate roadside prohibitions do not attract driver penalty points but are highly likely to catch the attention of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. When you are placed on a 3-month prohibition you will most likely subsequently be referred to the ignition interlock program and also the driver’s improvement program. The ignition interlock program means that you will not be able to start your car without blowing into a device and registering an alcohol free breath sample reading. You will have to blow into the device at various intervals if you wish to continue to operate the vehicle.

The Driver’s Improvement Program is aimed at assisting road users with their offending driving behaviour. These programs can be lengthy and costly.

You may wish to challenge the Superintendent’s decision to refer you to Ignition Interlock or an improvement program. We have considerable experience representing people in the review of the Superintendent’s decision to issue a referral to interlock or the Driver’s Improvement Program.

If you are issued an immediate roadside prohibition you should contact us as soon as possible. The time period for review is only 7 days. This can seem like a lot of time but the busy nature of peoples’ lives all too often results in missing deadlines they thought they would be able to make. I often have people who come to me but are beyond the deadline for review.  We can request an extension of time period for review should you have a reasonable excuse. If we have to request an extension then we are faced with yet another hurdle to overcome in the fight to protect your license to drive.

Driving is a privilege and a top priority. Driving is a critical part of our lives. Do not take any matter relating to driving lightly because the consequence may be very serious in the short term and the bigger picture. The unfortunate consequence of a any suspension is that you become more likely to come to the attention of the licensing authorities, which may result in disciplinary actions including other prohibitions or programs.


By Justin Myers




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