The Vicious Cycle of Driving Prohibitions in BC
It is not uncommon for drivers in British Columbia to get caught in a vicious cycle of driving prohibitions. This is particularly common with novice drivers, and it can cause some people to be unable to graduate to a full licence for 5-10 years. This cycle of driving prohibitions BC can have compounding negative consequences for a driver’s employment, familial obligations, and financial well-being.
The driving prohibition cycle begins with an initial prohibition issued by RoadSafetyBC, the government body that monitors the driving records of licence holders in British Columbia. Drivers are brought to RoadSafetyBC’s attention when traffic tickets or alcohol or drug infractions are added to driving records, subject to certain thresholds.
Class 7 or 8 drivers (N or L) receive the most scrutiny. According to the Driver Improvement Program Policy and Guidelines, Class 7 drivers can be prohibited for any single ticket carrying two or more demerit points, or any single alcohol or drug-related infraction.
Drivers with full licences (Classes 1 – 6) are given more latitude but are still monitored. For example, two high-risk offences (excessive speeding or cell phone tickets) within a certain time period will result in a lengthy prohibition.
Prohibitions are absolute and measured in months, not weeks. Prohibitions from RoadSafetyBC will not allow certain hours where you can drive for work or school.
Following the conclusion of a driving prohibition, a driver will be on probation. RoadSafetyBC will scrutinize the driver’s record for the next two years, or until the driver gets their full licence. If further traffic, or alcohol or drug-related infractions are added to the driving record, another prohibition will issue. Further, a subsequent prohibition is almost certain to be longer in duration than the first prohibition. In this way, the vicious cycle of prohibitions continues. The driving prohibitions get longer and the probationary period starts all over. Driving during a driving prohibition will lead to a driving while prohibited charge which are dealt with in criminal court.
While a lawyer experienced in driving matters can be of assistance at any time, the best way to avoid any disruption in your ability to drive, and to avoid falling into the cycle of prohibitions, is to obtain legal advice at the earliest stage. If you have received a driving prohibition or have been caught driving while prohibited, call Filkow Law for help.