Immediate Roadside Prohibitions in BC

Filkow Law is a leading authority on criminal drinking, impaired driving, drinking and driving laws and the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) regime. The lawyers at Filkow Law have succeeded in hundreds of alcohol-related driving offences and Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases.

An Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) is not a criminal case, but it is also not a traffic ticket. It is a serious alcohol-related offence under the Motor Vehicle Act with a number of immediate and 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 consequences can be even more significant if it is a second alcohol-related prohibition or IRP.

An IRP in BC is issued by a police officer at the roadside in two circumstances:

(1) When the driver is alleged to have failed a roadside screening device test, or

(2) When the driver is alleged to have refused or failed to comply with the roadside test without a reasonable excuse.

The law, evidence, and the review process for IRPs is a very specialized practice area. There are specific legal issues and defences for IRPs in BC that require the assistance of highly experienced counsel.

You should contact Filkow Law immediately if you have been served with an IRP.  There is a strict 7-day time limit to file for a review.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP)?

An Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) is a serious alcohol-related offence under the Motor Vehicle Act with a number of immediate and lasting consequences, including:

  • a 90-day driving prohibition;
  • 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 installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that you drive and related costs; and
  • a permanent alcohol-related driving record.

The consequences can be even more significant if it is a second alcohol-related prohibition or IRP.

I received an IRP. Will I be criminally charged?

No, you cannot be criminally charged for an IRP. At the time the IRP regime came into effect, the BC Crown Counsel Office passed a policy that significantly reduced the number of cases that would be approved for criminal prosecution in British Columbia. The policy recognizes the significant consequences imposed by the IRP regime on a driver who blows a “fail” or who refuses without reasonable excuse to provide a breath sample into an Approved Screening Device. You can find more information on IRPs here.

I received an IRP. How long will I be prohibited from driving?

The length of the prohibition differs depending upon whether the driver registers a “warn” or a “fail” after blowing into the roadside device.  A “warn” results in a prohibition of 3, 7 or 30 days depending on whether it is a first, second or subsequent “warn” within 5 years. A “fail” reading leads to a 90-day suspension. You can find more information on IRP consequences here.

How do I dispute an IRP?

A person who wishes to dispute an IRP must do so within 7 days of service of the Notice of Prohibition.  There is no legislative authority to extend this period.  Once the motorist disputes the prohibition, they should receive the officer’s Report to Superintendent which details the specifics of the case. For more information regarding IRP disputes, click the link here.

If you have been charged with an IRP, contact us immediately. We have extensive experience dealing with IRPs.

If you need legal assistance, give us a call or simply text us your police, court or driving documents to our respective text line.

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