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  • Tough administrative penalties for drinking and driving return to BC

Tough administrative penalties for drinking and driving return to BC

On June 15, 2012, BC reintroduced laws dealing with drunk-driving that are intended to be tough and crack down on this practice.

B.C.’s tough drunk driving penalties have been amended to ensure all drivers that blow above the warning level will be given a second breathalyzer test – Last year a had judge ruled sections of the law were unconstitutional.

The new administrative penalties for drinking and driving are intended to provide a  more fair, rigorous roadside and appeal process compared to the previous iteration of the law introduced in 2010.

According to the Province of British Columbia, the following conditions now apply, regardless of whether a driver provides either a “warn” or “fail” breath sample at the roadside (quoting directly from the website):

  • Police must advise drivers of their right to a second breath test on a second approved screening device (ASD). In the past, officers were not legally required to inform drivers of this right.
  • Police must tell drivers that the lower of the two readings will prevail. Previously, the results of a second test prevailed, whether higher or lower.
  • Grounds for administrative review now include the reliability of the ASD results, whether police advised the driver of his or her right to a second test, whether police conducted that second breath test on a second ASD, and whether the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) was issued on the basis of the lowest reading. These grounds reflect the expanded requirements of police officers at the roadside.
  • Police officers must provide sworn reports to the superintendent of motor vehicles for every immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) they issue – increasing the evidentiary standard of the officers’ submissions.
  • Police officers must also submit documentation attesting to the calibration accuracy of the ASD device or devices that were used.

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