New Drinking & Driving Laws In BC

If you haven't already heard there are now new stiffier penalties for drinking and driving in British Columbia. These fines include longer suspensions, bigger fines, and possible jail time. These new penalties took effect Sept 20, 2010. The new limit has been decreased from 0.08 BAC to 0.05 BAC at most. There are now immediate roadside prohibtion and the fines range from $600 to $4,060!

Possible Criminal Charges

As mentioned on our other pages if you refuse to blow into a breathalyzer you could be charged with a criminal offense. If you are convicted you could be prohibited to drive for at least a year and pay way more on your car insurance. You also need to remember that ICBC will not cover your basic car insurance if you are under the influence of alcohol. This means you would be responsible for 100% of the costs if you damage someone else's property or injure them.

As another penalty people are now going to have to provide a breath sample every time they operate a vehicle if they are convicted of drinking and driving. As mentioned in this article about breathalyzer's.

Hard Facts About New Law in BC

If you refuse to give a breath sample you will:

  • Get a 3 month driving ban.
  • Face possible criminal charges.
  • Have to pay for the towing and impoundment costs.
  • Have their vehicle impounded for 30 days
  • Get a $500 administrative penalty, and a $250 driver's license reinstatement fee.
  • Have to pay for the mandatory use of an ignition interlock deivce for one year.

The total cost adds up to almost $4,000 and it will be triggered during a roadside stop by a police, without any immediate criminal charges or time in court.

In addition to the above points you'll get different penalties based on the level you blew:

  • Warning Range 0.05-0.08 - This is around 1 to 4 drinks. 3-day ban + $2000 fine and additional fees make a total of $600.
  • Greater Than 0.08 - This is around 2 to 5 drinks. 90-day ban + 30-day car impound + $500 fine + possible criminal charge and additional fees, responsible driver program, etc.

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