Since September 20, 2010, the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) regime largely replaced the judicial process in the field of drinking and driving offences. In another words, most drinking and driving cases do not involve appearing in Court. In British Columbia, the police issue an IRP and submit a report to the Superintendent of the Motor Vehicles. There are seven days to dispute the IRP in BC. The review process takes place in written or oral format before an adjudicator in Victoria.

The penalties are severe and swift. Those who the police report blew a “fail” or “refuse to blow” will immediately lose their driver’s licences for 90 days. In addition, the vehicle they were driving is impounded for 30 days. There are also significant requirements for participation and completion of the Responsible Drivers Program and the Interlock Ignition Program. There are also significant financial consequences including the towing and storage fees for the impounded vehicle and the costs of required programs. An IRP also means a serious alcohol-related offence on one’s record that can carry lasting negative consequences.

While an IRP in BC is not a criminal case it is also not a traffic ticket. It is a serious alcohol-related offence under the Motor Vehicle Act resulting in several monetary or lasting consequences, including:

  • a 90-day driving prohibition (90-day driving suspension)
  • a 30-day vehicle impoundment including towing and storage costs
  • a $500 administrative penalty
  • a $250 licence reinstatement fee
  • completion of the Responsible Driver Program (alcohol counselling) and related costs
  • potential (or required) installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that you drive and related costs
  • a permanent alcohol-related driving record

The area of drinking and driving is very specialized and the issues are technical and can be quite complicated. What would be relevant in a criminal case may be very different than what is important in an IRP review. The consequences can be even more significant if it is a second alcohol-related prohibition or IRP.

Filkow Law is a leading authority and expert on fighting an IRP in BC, and all drinking and driving offences. This area of the law is highly specialized. If you receive an IRP or other drinking and driving offence, please contact Filkow Law for legal assistance.