Mr. Filkow has successfully defended hundreds of Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRP) and other Driving Prohibition, and drinking and driving cases in British Columbia, which has some of the harshest drunk driving laws in Canada. He has a 25-year plus track record of achieving favourable results in defending DUI and Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases. Mr. Filkow is a leading authority on BC’s impaired driving laws.
If you are facing a DUI, impaired or drunk driving charge or been issued an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) or other Driving Prohibition, you need expert legal representation.
Call 24 hours at 604-558-8778.
You may be charged criminally if you are found to be driving while impaired, driving while having an illegal blood level in your body, or refusing to provide a breath sample as a result of a police breath demand. A conviction will result in a criminal record and many serious consequences, including financial penalties, possible jail time, and immigration consequences.
Parliament has recently made many fundamental changes to criminal laws on impaired driving. The new legislation has a broader reach than previous impaired driving laws. As an example, there is now a presumption of operation whenever a person occupies the seat or position that is normally occupied when operating a vehicle. Police officers now also have the power to demand a breath test for alcohol from any driver, as long as they have the testing device in their possession. Purely random alcohol testing is allowed, without any reasonable suspicion of intoxication.
There are also more criminal offences and greater punishments than in the past. A mandatory 1-year driving prohibition is in place for all convictions. Additionally, 30 days in prison is mandatory for any second-time offenders. These punishments now also affect an individual’s immigration status. If you are in Canada on a visa, an impaired driving conviction will likely result in deportation.
These new criminal laws have also removed many of the defenses that an accused person previously had. For example, the defense of bolus drinking (quickly drinking a lot of alcohol just prior to driving so the alcohol has not yet been absorbed into the blood stream) has been completely eliminated. Drinking after you have driven is also no longer a defense if you had a reasonable expectation that you may have been breath-tested, such as after an accident.
Criminal charges will entail a lengthy police investigation, the involvement of Crown counsel, many court appearances, and extensive police disclosure. This can be overwhelming for people who are not experienced with the court process. It is important to find a criminal lawyer that is experienced in impaired driving laws and knows what defenses are available and how to assist with a case.
The Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) regime has been in place since 2010. If you blow a “Fail” on the roadside Approved Screening Device or you refuse to provide a sample, you will receive an IRP.
Penalties for failing or refusing a roadside test are a 90-day prohibition from driving, a 30-day vehicle impoundment, a $500 fine, and a $250 license reinstatement fee. You will be required to pay for and complete the Responsible Driver Alcohol Counselling Program. You may be required to pay for and install an Ignition Interlock in any vehicle you drive.
In addition to criminal charges or an IRP, you may also be subject to an Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP). The main differences between an IRP and ADP is that breath sample testing takes place at the police detachment and an ADP 90-day prohibition begins after 21 days.
There is a 7-day deadline to disputing IRPs and ADPs. There are very different defenses available for these driving prohibitions compared to criminal impaired charges. These prohibitions can seriously impact one’s personal and family life, as well as impact the ability to earn an income. It is important to find a lawyer that understands how to successfully dispute an IRP or ADP.
Impaired driving law is a complex area of the law. You need a lawyer that understands the differences between criminal and regulatory impaired driving laws, including their different defenses and procedures. Whether you have been charged criminally or received a roadside driving prohibition, this will obviously have serious consequences to you on many levels. Filkow Law has over 25 years of experience in the field of impaired driving and driving offences.
Filkow Law is a highly regarded criminal law firm with significant experience in drinking and driving cases. Mr. Filkow is also a leading authority on BC’s impaired driving laws and he has achieved favourable results in hundreds of impaired driving and Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases.
Many people issued an IRP or facing Impaired Driving or DUI charges for the first time feel overwhelmed and have many questions about drinking and laws – and their rights. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions:
Like all criminal cases, impaired driving cases have serious implications so you should have the best defence possible for your DUI, IRP or driving prohibition case. Mr. Filkow and his team of criminal lawyers in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Kelowna, BC will ensure that you do. Mr. Filkow is a leading authority on British Columbia’s drinking and driving laws, including IRPs, impaired driving and driving prohibitions.