What Happens When You Get a DUI in BC?

If you’ve received a DUI in BC or are caught driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, the consequences depend on a number of factors. This includes:

  • Your driving experience
  • The amount of alcohol in your body
  • The discretion of the attending police officer. 

DUI BC

‘DUI’ stands for ‘driving under the influence’. In BC, this means driving while affected by alcohol or drugs. It is commonly referred to as impaired driving

According to the Government of British Columbia, driving while affected by alcohol or drugs means: 

‘Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) equal to or exceeding 80 milligrams (mg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres (mL) of blood (0.08 BAC), or operating a motor vehicle with a blood drug concentration equal to or exceeding a prescribed value.’

Therefore, the drink driving limit in BC is 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. This will show up as 0.08 on an approved screening device.

However, even if your blood alcohol content is below 0.08, you may still face penalties. Also, there is a zero tolerance policy for those on the Graduated Licensing Program, meaning you cannot have any alcohol or drugs in your system and drive.

What happens when you get a DUI BC?

Man driving in a car with hand on wheel after receiving a duic in BC - Criminal Lawyer Vancouver

If a police officer suspects that you are driving while affected by alcohol, you will be asked to perform a roadside breath test. The result determines what happens next. 

If your blood alcohol content is over 0.08, the approved screening device will show a ‘fail’ result. You will either get a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition (IRP). Or, you will be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada. It is up to the attending police officer to decide what course of action to take. 

If your blood alcohol content is between 0.05 and 0.08, the approved screening device will show a ‘warn’ result. The consequences depend on whether it is your first, second or third offence in the past five years. 

The 6 common charges for impaired driving in BC

Brown judges hammer - Criminal Lawyer Vancouver

If it’s your first warn reading in five years –

  • Your driver’s licence is immediately seized and you won’t be able to drive for three days
  • Your vehicle may be towed and impounded for three days
  • You must pay a $200 penalty
  • You must apply to have your licence reinstated 

If it’s your second warn reading in five years – 

  • Your driver’s licence is immediately seized and you cannot drive for seven days
  • Your vehicle may be towed and impounded for seven days
  • You must pay a $300 penalty
  • You must apply to have your licence reinstated if you wish to drive again
  • You may be referred to the Responsible Driver Program 

If it’s your third warn reading in five years – 

  • Your driver’s licence is immediately seized and you cannot drive for 30 days
  • Your vehicle is towed and impounded for 30 days
  • You must pay a $400 penalty 
  • You must apply to have your licence reinstated if you wish to drive again
  • You may be referred to the Responsible Driver Program
  • You may be referred to the Ignition Interlock Program

If you are issued with a 90 day IRP because you registered a fail reading or you refused to provide a sample –

  • Your driver’s licence is immediately seized and you cannot drive for 90 days
  • Your vehicle is towed and impounded for 30 days
  • You must pay a $500 penalty 
  • You must apply to have your licence reinstated if you wish to drive again
  • You may be referred to the Responsible Driver Program
  • You may be referred to the Ignition Interlock Program

If you the police decide to proceed under the Criminal Code, you will be asked to attend the police station for further tests. Your car may be towed and impounded for 24 hours. If further tests confirm that you are over the legal drink drive limit, you may be arrested and charged under the Criminal Code of Canada. Your case will then go to court. Meanwhile, you will usually be subject to a 90 day administrative driving prohibition (ADP). 

If you are convicted in court, you may receive – 

  • A fine of at least $1,000
  • A driving ban
  • A jail sentence
  • A referral to the Responsible Driver Program
  • A referral to the Ignition Interlock Program

If there is any presence of alcohol or drugs in your system & you’re on the Graduated Licensing Program you –  

  • Get an immediate 12 hour licence suspension
  • Have your driving record reviewed and may face further penalties
  • Must apply to have your driving licence reinstated
  • Have to start at the beginning of your 24 month licensing period, if you are a novice driver

Experienced Impaired Driving Lawyers In Vancouver

If you have received a licence suspension, an IRP or you have been charged with driving while impaired, please contact us.
You can ask to have your driving prohibition reviewed. With IRPs, you only have seven days to make an application, so immediate action is required. 

Our impaired driving lawyers can make an application on your behalf. If your case goes to court, we can represent you throughout legal proceedings, working hard to save your licence. 

Call a Vancouver criminal lawyer now – 604-688-8588

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