At Jaswal & Krueger, we specialize in DUI defense and understand the challenges faced by individuals who have lost their driver’s licenses due to impaired driving charges. In this article, we will guide you through the process of regaining your license after a DUI in British Columbia.

Whether you rely on your vehicle for work, family obligations, or personal freedom, we recognize the importance of having your license reinstated as quickly as possible. Let’s explore the necessary steps to get you back on the road.

Understanding DUI-related License Suspensions

Impaired Driving and its Consequences

Impaired driving, often resulting from alcohol or drug use, can lead to serious consequences, including license suspensions. When operating a vehicle under the influence, you not only risk your own safety but also jeopardize the well-being of others on the road. Understanding the gravity of impaired driving and its potential consequences is crucial to comprehending the path to license reinstatement.

Types of License Suspensions

In British Columbia, there are two primary types of license suspensions related to DUI offences: Immediate Roadside Prohibitions and Administrative Driving Prohibitions (IRPs and ADPs) and Criminal Code suspensions.

  • Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRPs) and Administrative Driving Prohibitions (ADPs): These prohibitions are issued by the police or the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles and can be based on either a “Warn” or “Fail” on an Approved Screening Device (ASD) or a refusal to comply with a breathalyzer test. Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) and Administrative Driving Prohibitions (ADP) fall under this category. The length of the suspension is between 3 to  90 days, depending on the circumstances.
  • Criminal Code Suspensions: Criminal Code suspensions are imposed when an individual is convicted of impaired driving offenses under the Criminal Code of Canada. These offenses include impaired driving, driving with a blood-alcohol concentration at or above 0.08%, or refusing or failing to comply with a valid Criminal Code demand. If convicted of one of these offenses, you will face a minimum one-year driving suspension, along with a minimum fine of $1,000. In more serious cases, such as those involving accidents causing harm or death, the court may impose additional penalties, including jail time.

Understanding the different types of license suspensions is crucial as it determines the specific steps you need to take to regain your driving privileges.

The Responsible Driver Program

The Responsible Driver Program (RDP) is a mandatory program that individuals who have received an IRP or ADP, or have been convicted of a criminal impaired driving offence must complete before their driver’s licence can be reinstated. The program is designed to promote responsible driving behaviour and reduce the likelihood of repeat offences.

Participants in the RDP must successfully complete educational and counselling components. The program costs $930, and completion is a prerequisite for license reinstatement.

Serving the Licence Suspension Period

Completing the full period of your license suspension is a crucial requirement before initiating the process of reinstating your license. It is important to adhere to the suspension period specified in your administrative driving prohibition or Criminal Code suspension. Failure to do so can result in further penalties and delays in regaining your driving privileges.

During the suspension period, it is essential to comply with all conditions set forth by the licensing authorities. This may include refraining from driving altogether, attending mandatory counselling or educational programs, and fulfilling any other obligations outlined in your suspension order.

Steps to Get Your Driver’s Licence Back

Enrolling in the Responsible Driver Program

Enrolling in the Responsible Driver Program is an integral part of the process to regain your license after a DUI. To enroll, you must contact the RDP office and provide the necessary information, including your driver’s license number and details of your suspension. After enrollment, you will be assigned a program start date and provided with instructions on attending the required sessions.

The Responsible Driver Program consists of several components, including group sessions, one-on-one interviews, and assessments. These sessions aim to educate participants about the risks and consequences of impaired driving, promote responsible decision-making, and address any underlying issues that may contribute to alcohol or drug misuse. Completion of the program demonstrates your commitment to safe and responsible driving.

Ignition Interlock Program

In some cases, the Ignition Interlock Program may be a requirement for license reinstatement. The program involves the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device acts as a breathalyzer, requiring you to provide a breath sample before starting your car. If alcohol is detected above a preset limit, the vehicle will not start.

The duration of the Ignition Interlock Program varies depending on your driving record and the specific requirements set by the authorities. Typically, individuals with a DUI conviction and multiple offences on their record are required to participate in the program. It is important to note that the cost of installing and maintaining the ignition interlock device is the responsibility of the participant and can amount to approximately $2,000 per year.

Addressing Outstanding Fines and Driver Risk Premium

Before you can proceed with license reinstatement, it is essential to address any outstanding fines and obligations. If you have unpaid fines resulting from your DUI conviction, these must be settled with the appropriate authorities before your license can be reinstated. Failure to resolve outstanding fines can hinder the reinstatement process and prolong the period without a valid driver’s license.

If you have accumulated multiple convictions or roadside prohibitions, you may be subject to a Driver Risk Premium. The Driver Risk Premium is an additional fee imposed by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) on top of your insurance premiums. The amount you are required to pay depends on your driving record. Clearing any outstanding Driver Risk Premium payments is crucial for a successful license reinstatement.

Applying for License Reinstatement

Once you have fulfilled all the requirements, it is time to apply for license reinstatement at an ICBC driver licensing center. To do so, you will need to visit a local ICBC office with the necessary documentation. This typically includes identification, proof of address, and any documentation related to the completion of the Responsible Driver Program or Ignition Interlock Program, if applicable.

During the application process, you will be required to pay a re-licensing fee of $31, along with a reinstatement fee of $250. These fees cover the administrative costs associated with reinstating your license. It is essential to ensure you have the necessary funds available to complete the application process smoothly.

Seeking Legal Assistance

handshake between lawyer and DUI client

Navigating the complexities of DUI-related license reinstatement can be overwhelming and requires a deep understanding of the legal processes involved. Consulting a skilled DUI lawyer in British Columbia is crucial to optimize your chances of success.

Our experienced team at Jaswal & Krueger Criminal Defence Lawyers has a proven track record in handling DUI cases and guiding individuals through the process of regaining their driver’s licenses. We provide personalized support and strategic representation to ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.

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