Getting an immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) can be scary, and you might not really know what to expect. To clarify a few matters, we’ve answered five of the most frequently asked questions below. If you need further legal advice, or you want to challenge an IRP, please contact us at Mickelson and Whysall Law Corporation.

1. What is an immediate roadside prohibition?

An immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) is when the police issue a roadside notice, compelling a motorist to surrender their driving licence. IRPs are given to drivers who register a ‘warn’ or ‘fail’ reading on an approved screening device (ASD), indicating the presence of alcohol in their bloodstream. IRPs are also given to drivers who refuse to take a breath test without good reason, and who are found to be driving while impaired by drugs.

When you get an IRP, you must give your licence to the police officer. Your driving suspension takes effect straight away. The police officer will decide on the length of your ban. This depends on your driving record over the past five years and the reading on the ASD. Your driving prohibition could last from three days up to a maximum of 90 days. You can ask for the decision to be reviewed. You must do this within seven days of receiving an IRP.


2. Can I drive after my 90 suspension?

Yes, you can drive after your 90 day suspension has expired. However, you must go to an ICBC driver licencing office to get your licence reinstated first. You must also complete any other demands required of you, such as paying your vehicle impoundment fee or participating in the responsible driver program. You must not drive while prohibited.


3. Is a 24 hour suspension a criminal offence?

Being handed a 24 hour driving suspension does not necessarily mean you have been charged with a criminal offence.

Sometimes the police issue a 24 hour prohibition because they believe your ability to drive is affected by alcohol or drugs. A breath sample is not taken; rather, it is the police officer’s judgement that you are impaired. This kind of driving prohibition is not a criminal offence. However, it will remain on your driving record. This means it could have unwelcome consequences in the future, especially if you get any further IRPs.

If you are certain that your ability to drive is not hindered by alcohol or drugs, it is your right to ask for a roadside breath test. If this does not show a ‘warn’ or ‘fail’ reading, the 24 hour suspension cannot be upheld. Of course, if you fail the breath test, the penalties will be more severe. Even if you surrender your licence, you can ask for the 24 hour driving suspension to be reviewed. You must do this within seven days of receiving the prohibition.

If you register a ‘fail’ reading on an approved screening device (ASD), the police may decide to proceed under the Criminal Code of Canada, rather than issue an immediate roadside prohibition (IRP). If so, you will be given a 24 hour driving prohibition and taken to the police station for further tests. If these confirm that you are over the limit, you will be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada. Your case will go to court and, if the judge finds against you, you will be guilty of a criminal offence.


4. How long does a DUI stay on your record in BC?

Driving infractions remain on your driving record forever in BC. Your driving abstract may not show all (or any) of your past driving violations. However, this is because your driving abstract only covers the past five years. This is different to your driving record, which is maintained by ICBC and is a complete history of your driving career.

If you are found guilty of a DUI by a court, then it remains on your criminal record forever. Unlike your driving record, you can ask for a record suspension. This seals your criminal record, meaning potential employers and other organisations cannot see it.


5. How to get your licence back after a DUI in BC

You can get your licence back after serving the length of your driving ban. To get your licence back, you need to pay any outstanding fines, complete any special programs (such as the responsible driver program) and organise your ICBC insurance. Then, you need to go to an ICBC driver licencing office to get your licence reinstated.


Vancouver Impaired Driving Lawyer

If you have been issued with an IRP, please Contact us at Mickelson & Whysall Law Corporation. We can ask to have the IRP reviewed, which may result in the decision being overturned. This ensures your driving record is not tainted – something which could have adverse consequences in the future.

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