You have seven days to appeal an administrative driving prohibition (ADP). An application must be made to RoadSafetyBC, outlining why the driving ban should be overturned. If the administrative driving prohibition is upheld, your only option is to request a judicial review.
When would you be served an administrative driving prohibition?
An administrative driving prohibition is a 90-day driving prohibition given to drivers who are caught operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. You may receive an administrative driving prohibition if:
- Your blood alcohol content is 0.08 or over
- Your blood drug concentration is over the legal limit
- You are suspected of operating a vehicle within the last two hours while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) advises that you operated a vehicle while impaired by drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs
- You refuse to provide a breath sample without a reasonable excuse
How administrative driving prohibitions are different from immediate roadside prohibitions (IRPs)
As the name suggests, an IRP can be handed out at the roadside. They can also be given to drivers who register a ‘warn’ reading on an approved screening device. You cannot receive an administrative driving prohibition and an IRP for the same offence.
When does the driving ban take effect?
Previously, if you were given an administrative driving prohibition, the driving ban came into force 21 days after the notice was issued. Now, however, the driving ban takes effect straight away. There are some exceptions to this rule, including if:
- You hold a valid foreign driver’s licence, rather than a BC licence
- You are charged with drug driving
- A Drug Recognition Expert advised that you were operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs
In these circumstances, a temporary seven-day driving licence will be issued. If your administrative driving prohibition has not been successfully appealed during this time, the driving ban will take effect after seven days.
Appealing an administrative driving prohibition
Like an immediate roadside prohibition, you only have seven days in which to appeal an administrative driving prohibition. If you miss this seven-day deadline, you may be able to lodge a late review, although there are limited circumstances in which you are allowed to do so. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria and you miss the seven-day deadline, you have no choice but to accept the administrative driving prohibition.
To appeal an administrative driving prohibition, an application must be made to RoadSafetyBC. If you do this yourself, you need to complete an ‘Application for Review of an Administrative Driving Prohibition’ form. You can either choose a written review, whereby you document your case in writing. Or, you can ask for an oral review, whereby you present your case to an adjudicator over the phone.
Before the review, you will receive a copy of the police report. You are then entitled to submit additional evidence in support of your case. Following the review, an adjudicator from RoadSafetyBC will decide whether to:
- Revoke your driving prohibition, meaning your licence can be reinstated and the review fees refunded; or
- Uphold your driving prohibition, meaning you must serve the length of your 90-day driving ban before re-applying for your licence
If the review decision goes against you and your ban is upheld, your only other option is to pursue a judicial review through the B.C. Supreme Court. This course of action is only advised if the ADP is ‘patently unreasonable’ with no evidence to support the prohibition.
Grounds for review
There are various grounds upon which you can request a review of your administrative driving ban. These include if:
- You were not driving or operating the vehicle
- You were not over the legal alcohol/drug drive limit
- You consumed alcohol or drugs after you finished driving
- The evaluating officer failed to comply with the legal requirements for testing
- You did not refuse a breath test, or you had a reasonable excuse for doing so
Some of these grounds appear fairly straightforward. For example, either you were operating a vehicle or you were not. However, you must provide the necessary evidence to prove your case. If you fail to establish that you were not operating the vehicle (or whatever the case may be), your appeal will ultimately fail.
Others grounds for review require an in-depth understanding of the rules and regulations. For instance, if the police failed to issue a proper demand, you cannot be accused of failing to provide a sample. There are various other technical defences available, but you may not be aware of the legal requirements for testing – and whether or not they have been breached.
Speak to a Vancouver ADP lawyer
Due to the technicalities involved in appealing an administrative driving prohibition, your case is much more likely to succeed if you instruct a defence lawyer. At Mickelson & Whysall Law Corporation, we can determine the best way to overturn your administrative driving prohibition, working to get your licence reinstated.