Driving Prohibitions

Driving suspensions can also be issued under the Motor Vehicle Act, similarly you face an additional 1 year driving prohibition, if you are found driving during such a prohibition.

24 Hour Driving Prohibition

This prohibition is routinely issued roadside if police officers have a suspicion that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impacted by alcohol. It is also issued in the course of impaired driving investigations. It does not give you points on your driving record, but is taken very seriously in the review of your driving record by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. If you have a class 5 licence a few 24 hour prohibitions, especially in addition to a few tickets can lead to a driving prohibition based on your driving record. If you have a Novice or Learner’s Driving Licence you are under a condition not to drive with alcohol in your system, hence one single 24 hour prohibition can lead to a review of your driving record.

You have 7 days from the issuance of a 24 hour prohibition to dispute it, by going to your ICBC office and filing for a review (cost $100). You have a substantive defence, if you offered to provide a breath sample after you were issued the 24 hour prohibition. We will also check if the 24 hour prohibition and supporting paperwork meet the statutory requirements.

Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP)

This three month driving prohibition is usually issued in the course of an impaired driving investigation. The Motor Vehicle Act only foresees three possible defences: that you were not operating or in care and control of a motor vehicle; that you were not over the legal limit; or in cases where you did not provide a breath sample that you had a reasonable excuse. The adjudicators have no discretion to consider your personal circumstances in regard to those Again you only have 7 days to dispute this driving prohibition at your local ICBC office (written review: $100). We recommend filing for a WRITTEN review instead of an oral review for two reasons: (1) it is cheaper, and (2) the Superintendent may ONLY consider the written material of the officer such that he cannot "fill in the gaps" for any information lacking his his or her report. 


Thus, your first step is to file for a writte review and then contact our office immediately.  Otherwise you will be prohibited for 90 days starting 21 days after you were issued the ADP. In addition, if you fail to successfully dispute an ADP prohibition then the Superintendent will add two dire restrictions to your license when you get it back after 90 days: (1) you will be required to register for the RDP Responsible Driver's Program ($880 plus taxes) and (2) you will be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle for a 12 month period.  It used to be the case that these penalties were only added to a person's license if he or she was convicted criminally of a criminal charge of impaired driving, however BE AWARE THAT THE LAW HAS CHANGED such that now ANYBODY who does not successfully appeal an ADP driving prohibition will be required to enroll in these programs regardless of what happens with the criminal charge.  Thus, it is imperative that you beat the ADP if at all possible.

Driving Prohibition Based On Your Driving Record

Especially as L or N drivers you cannot afford many entries in your driving record, but even experienced drivers will see their driving record reviewed by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles looking back 5 years. On the average you should not have more than one speeding ticket (3 points) per year.

The process of prohibition you, usually starts with a letter in the mail – called a notice of intention to prohibit, you are then given 21 days to make a written submission or you can accept the prohibition by mailing in your driving prohibition. Since adjudicators have more discretion in these cases, we explain your personal circumstances and can provide some explanations for tickets previously obtained.

If you receive a driving prohibition as an L or N driver your 2 year trial period starts over again following your driving prohibition and you are looking at longer prohibitions following any additional tickets during the trial period.

We are happy to collect all the necessary sworn statements, evidence and information about your personal circumstances to make a strong submission on your behalf.

If you do not make a submission in response to the notice of intention to prohibit you will be sent a prohibition from driving in the registered mail. As soon as you pick up this registered mail and personally sign for it you are prohibited from driving and can be charged with driving while prohibited. Contact us immediately if you are issued such a prohibition, we can then still make submissions on your behalf.


Driving While Prohibited

If you are subject to a Criminal Code driving prohibition and you are found driving a motor vehicle, you face a possible additional minimum 1 year driving prohibition and a possible jail sentence. This charge can be challenged on the basis of failure to establish identity of the driver, lack of knowledge of the prohibition and by seeking exclusion of documents served.

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Tessmer Law Offices
272 Bernard Avenue,
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 6N4


tel. 250-762-6747
fax. 250-762-3163

email. [email protected]

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