Thursday, September 09, 2010

BC's New Imparied Driving Law Starts Sept. 20

Tough New Laws Kick-in Sept. 20,2010

Fail or Refuse Breath Sample Costs You $4060


Penalties

Currently, a police officer may issue you an immediate, 24-hour driving suspension at the roadside and, at the officer’s discretion, impound the vehicle you are driving if you are found to be driving while impaired. To impose more severe sanctions, such as 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibitions [PDF] and possible criminal charges, an officer must take you to their station or detachment for additional testing.

Beginning on Sept. 20 2010, more immediate and severe penalties will apply if:
  • You are caught driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent, OR
  • Your BAC is above 0.08 per cent, OR
  • You refuse to provide a breath sample.
As well, the new penalties will become more severe for repeat offences.
If a police officer suspects you are driving impaired, they will ask you to provide a breath sample at the roadside, into a roadside screening device. Depending on the BAC in the sample, the device will either indicate Pass, Warn or Fail.

PASS means your breath sample contains a BAC below 0.05 per cent. 

WARN means your breath sample is between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent BAC. If you are caught in this range:

The first time within a five-year period:
  • You will lose your driver’s licence for three days.
  • You may also lose your vehicle for three days. If you do, you will pay all related towing and storage fees.
  • You will pay a $200 administrative driving penalty and a $250 driver's licence reinstatement fee.
The second time within a five-year period:
  • You will lose your driver’s licence immediately, for seven days.
  • You may also lose your vehicle for seven days. If you do, you will pay all related towing and storage fees.
  • You will pay a $300 penalty and a $250 driver's licence reinstatement fee.
The third time within a five-year period:
  • You will lose your driver’s licence and your vehicle immediately, for 30 days.
  • You will pay all related towing and storage fees.
  • You will pay a $400 administrative driving penalty and a $250 driver's licence reinstatement fee.
  • To regain your driving privileges, you will have to complete the Responsible Drivers Program [PDF] and have to use an Ignition Interlock Device [PDF] whenever you drive, for one full year, following your driving suspension.
FAIL means your BAC is above 0.08 per cent. If you fail or refuse to provide a breath sample:
  • You will immediately lose your driver’s licence for 90 days and your vehicle for 30 days.
  • You will pay all related towing and storage fees.
  • You will pay a $500 administrative driving penalty and a $250 driver's licence reinstatement fee.
  • To regain your driving privileges, you will have to complete the Responsible Drivers Program [PDF] and have to use an Ignition Interlock Device [PDF] whenever you drive, for one full year, following your driving suspension.
  • In all, you will face administrative sanctions that will cost you about $4,060 before you can legally operate a motor vehicle again in B.C.
  • You may also face charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.

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