In the past 10 years, British Columbia (BC) has really stepped up their impaired driving laws. Gone are the days when you’re stopped at a checkpoint and you get off with a slap on the wrist. These days, a British Columbia impaired driving charge comes with some serious penalties. Here’s a look at life after you receive a BC impaired driving charge.
You’ve been stopped in the warn range
So you’ve had a drink or two and you’re driving down the highway when you see a checkpoint up ahead. No problem, right? You’ve only had one or two drinks, and you feel perfectly sober. You roll down your window and the police officer attending asks if you’ve been drinking. You admit you have, and they ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test.
When you blow into the breathalyzer, you register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between .05 to .08. What a relief! You aren’t over .08, so you can’t be charged with impaired driving, right? That’s where you’d be wrong. In British Columbia there are warn range penalties, and those warn range penalties include the immediate loss of your driver’s license for 3 days, the possibility of having your vehicle impounded, and a fine up to $200. You’ll also be responsible for the costs of towing and impounding your car.
In order to get your driver’s license back, you’ll have to apply and pay the fees to have your license reinstated. All in all, you’ll have to pay a steep price for only having one or two drinks.
You’ve been charged with impaired driving over .08
If you’re pulled over at a checkpoint and you’ve blown over .08, you probably know you have a long road ahead of you. Just like in the warn range, your driver’s license will be immediately seized and your vehicle may be towed.
Once you’ve received your court date, that’s when the penalties start rolling in. You’ll receive your 90-day driver’s license suspension, and if the judge decides to, you could be referred to the ignition interlock program. If so, you’ll have to cover the monthly payment of your interlock, just so you can resume driving.
You’ll also have to tap into your bank account, because along with the costs of the interlock device and impounding and towing your vehicle, you’ll also have to pay $500 in fines and cover the costs of BC’s Responsible Driver Program.
Living through an impaired driving charge is no walk in the park. Think before you drink, and never drive if you’ve consumed alcohol.