Responsible Driver Program
The Responsible Driver Program (RDP) is part of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicle’s Improvement Program for High-Risk Drivers. It is a remedial counseling and rehabilitation program targeting impaired driving (alcohol and/or drugs). It is one of many consequences and penalties that can occur as a result of a drinking driving offence, and is usually imposed along with the installation of an Interlock Ignition device.
An obligation to complete the RDP can be triggered by the following:
- One impaired-driving-related Criminal Code or Motor Vehicle Act (sec. 224 or 226) conviction
- One 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP)
- One 30-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP)
- One Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP)
- Three 24-hour Prohibitions (24P) in five years, or any combination of three ADPs, 24Ps and IRPs within five years
Being required to complete the RDP is a harsh penalty, and in some cases can be disproportionately severe. For some drivers, it is necessary to fully complete the RDP before they even receive their license back; however, due to scheduling, it can sometimes take up to 9 months to complete the program. This effectively extends a prohibition already served to almost a full year.
The Responsible Driver Program is also costly – sometimes prohibitively so; the program costs $880 plus tax. There is no government subsidization. For those drivers who are unable to afford the cost of the RDP, the consequences continue to worsen, as the inability to complete the RDP will result in a lost driver’s license until the program is finished.
The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has stated that the RPD is a discretionary program. To date, this discretion has yet to be exercised; even first-time offenders with clean driving records have been forced to take the RDP. It is an unjust regime that needs changing. At BCDL, we are determined to be the catalyst behind that change.
If you or someone you know has been instructed by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to enroll in the RDP, there are options. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.