Bill 15 – 2015: Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2015, came into force and effect on February 3, 2016 and has made significant changes to the Motor Vehicle Act with respect to the Remedial Programs. This legislation has eliminated the Remedial Reconsideration process.

In British Columbia there are currently two Remedial Programs that drivers can be referred to after receiving an alcohol related driving infraction and the associated driving prohibition:

  • The Responsible Driver Program
  • The Ignition Interlock Program

Anyone who receives one of the prescribed driving prohibitions (listed below) after February 3, 2016 will be affected by the changes.

Prior to the amendments, it was possible to “appeal” your referral to the Remedial Programs because of undue hardship or where the program(s) was unnecessary in your personal circumstances to ensure public safety.

RoadSafetyBC has released a chart outlining which driving prohibitions will result in a mandatory Remedial Programs. Similar to the Driving Improvement Program, points are assigned to driving prohibitions that trigger a referral to the Remedial Programs.

When Will You Have To Take The Responsible Driver Program?

It is now mandatory to participate in the Responsible Driver Program (RDP) if you receive a single 6 point driving infraction, or a combination of driving prohibitions that equal to 6 points.

Participation is mandatory if you receive one of the following:

  • a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP);
  • a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP); or
  • a Criminal Code conviction, such as Impaired Driving, Driving Over .08, etc.

It is mandatory to participate if you receive two of the following:

  • a 3 day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP);
  • a 7 day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP); or
  • a 30 day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP).

Participation is also mandatory if you receive three of the following:

  • a 24 Hour Prohibition for alcohol or drugs

When Will You Have To Install the Interlock Device?

It is now mandatory to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program (IIP) if you receive a combination of driving prohibitions that total to 9 points.

It is mandatory to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program for 12 months if you receive two of the following:

  • A 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP), or a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP); and
  • A 3, 7 or 30 day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP).

It is madatory to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program for 12 months if you receive two of the following:

  • A 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition; OR
  • A 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition.

To view the full chart use the link below to be directed to RoadSafetyBC’s Mandatory Criteria Matrix https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/driving/publications/mandatory-matrix.pdf

Why the Changes?

There has been no information released from RoadSafetyBC regarding these amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act. It is possible that RoadSafetyBC was overwhelmed by the amount of individuals who were seeking a Reconsideration of their referral to the Remedial Programs. There is a 6 month backlog at RoadSafetyBC to provide applicants, who fell under the legislation prior to the amendments, with a decision. The amendments may have something to do with RoadSafetyBC not having enough resources to keep up with the Reconsiderations.

It would appear from the decision of RoadSafetyBC to assign points to the driving prohibitions, that the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act are tied to the perceived risk of individuals who are issued certain, or a certain number of, driving prohibitions. Certainly, this is the platform that we would expect RoadSafetyBC to stand on.

The Effects of the Amendments

The enacted amendments are making British Columbia’s drunk driving laws some of the toughest in the country. The new provisions make it even more important for individuals who receive an Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRP) or Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP) to seek out the advice of experienced drunk driving lawyers. Mickelson & Whysall can assist you with the review process and successfully challenge your driving prohibition.

It is the opinion of Mickelson and Whysall, that the previous regime which allowed for the Reconsideration process was fair and recognized that not every person requires the Responsible Driver Program and/or Ignition Interlock to ensure public safety, or to prevent future drinking and driving incidents. People are known to make mistakes, learn from them, and correct their behaviour.

Call Mickelson & Whysall if you are issued with a Immediate Roadside Prohibition.