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Driving Prohibitions


In British Columbia, there are many different ways you can be prohibited or suspended from driving. The police and the government can take your BCDL before proving that you did anything wrong. Each type of driving prohibition or license suspension may be challenged, but the rules are very different which is why you need a lawyer with the right expertise.

A driving prohibition is serious and can cause serious problems. In BC all driving prohibitions apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A prohibition of any length has the potential to disrupt a person’s life. It may result in loss of income and/or employment and day-to-day tasks may become unnecessarily difficult.

Driving prohibitions also carry a number of other detrimental consequences such as:

  • Inability to work
  • Loss of your car insurance
  • Substantial financial penalties associated with re-instating your driver’s license and insurance
  • Having a driving prohibition recorded on your permanent driving record that can affect you for the rest of your life

When you have received a driving prohibition, the likelihood of getting another, longer prohibition is much greater. You will be at risk of getting longer driving prohibitions in the future.

You should also know that RoadSafetyBC sends letters to everyone who receives certain driving prohibitions, such as a 90-day IRP, requiring them to complete the Responsible Driver Program in order to get their license back. You will be responsible for paying all of the fees that are associated with this Program. You may also be required to pay for the installation and maintenance of an Ignition Interlock device inside your vehicle. Some driving prohibitions can even result in jail time.

If you have received a driving prohibition, call our law office for a free consultation. Our lawyers are experienced in challenging driving prohibitions. They have the expertise that is required in order to help you. Our driving lawyers deal with the RoadSafetyBC (the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), ICBC, the police and the courts on a regular basis. They are well-versed with the system and have the knowledge to help you to succeed in challenging your driving prohibition. Our lawyers may help you to reduce the duration of your driving prohibition, or to cancel it entirely.

Prohibitions from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles

One of the most common types of driving prohibitions is one that is issued by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles as a Notice of Intent to Prohibit or a Notice of Prohibition. This driving prohibition is issued under s. 93 of the Motor Vehicle Act as a result of a points or a poor driving record. This can happen after even one traffic violation.

Driving prohibitions from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles come in the form of a letter. This letter is called either a Notice of Intent to Prohibit or a Notice of Prohibition. A Notice of Intent to Prohibit notifies you that the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles will prohibit you from driving for a specified period of time. This time period will vary depending on your driving history.

If you get a Notice of Intent to Prohibit from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, you must act quickly. You can challenge it. You must challenge the intended driving prohibition within 21 days from the date that you were mailed the Notice of Intent to Prohibit. If you do not challenge your driving prohibition before the deadline, you will receive a Notice of Prohibition. A Notice of Prohibition tells you that you are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle.

Before challenging your driving prohibition, you should speak to a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help you give you valuable advice and help you to challenge the driving prohibition effectively. Lawyers are able to make written submissions on your behalf, explaining why the driving prohibition should not proceed or should be reduced to a shorter period of time.

The lawyers at BC Driving Lawyers are experienced in making written submissions for these types of driving prohibitions. They are knowledgeable and understand what kinds of information should be included and the steps that need to be taken to maximize your chances of success.

If you have received a Notice of Intent to Prohibit or a Notice of Prohibition, you should contact an experienced driving lawyer as soon as possible: CONTACT 604-608-1200.

Immediate Roadside Driving Prohibition (IRPs)

Police officers in British Columbia are required to serve immediate driving prohibitions (IRP) at the roadside.

If you blow into an approved screening device and the result is a “warn”, you will be prohibited from driving for:

  • 3 days, in the first instance;
  • 7 days, in the second instance;
  • 30 days, in any subsequent instance.

If the result of the test is “fail” or the police say that you refused or failed to comply with the demand, the prohibition will last for 90 days (90-day IRP).

All Immediate Roadside Driving Prohibitions take effect immediately.

Court Ordered Driving Prohibitions

A number of Criminal Code and Motor Vehicle Act driving offences carry the automatic penalty of a court-ordered driving prohibition. If you are convicted of one of these offences, you will be automatically prohibited from driving by the court.

If you have been criminally convicted of one of a number of specific motor vehicle related offenses, you will automatically have your license suspended under the Motor Vehicle Act. This comes in addition to any driving prohibition that is ordered by the court.

For a first time offence, your license will be suspended for a minimum of one year. If you have a previous conviction, within the past ten years, your license will be suspended for a minimum of three years. If you have three or more convictions, within the past ten years, you will lose your license indefinitely.

If you are convicted of a criminal driving offense where alcohol is involved, you should know that you will be required to complete, and pay for, the Responsible Driver’s Program. You will also be required to pay for, install and maintain the Ignition Interlock device, in your vehicle, before you are able to reapply for your driver’s license.

Driving prohibition? We can help you get back on the road.

Act now to challenge your driving prohibition.

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