Drink and Drive, Don't!

Police in B.C. can issue an immediate roadside prohibition to an impaired driver with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .05 or higher. (The BAC is based on a breath sample into a roadside screening device.)


(BAC) of .05 or higher, the vehicle can be immediately taken off the road and impounded for three to 30 days.

Costs related to these offences can add up to an estimated $600 to $4,060—even if it’s the first time a driver is caught.

Possible criminal charges

Failing or refusing a breathalyzer test could also result in criminal charges.

If convicted, you would be prohibited from driving for at least a year and pay way more for car insurance.

If you drove while prohibited or suspended, your car could be impounded for a minimum of 60 days. You would also be subject to a $500 fine, jail time and more driving prohibitions.

Don’t gamble with your car insurance

If you drive over the legal alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs, ICBC may not cover you under your Basic Autoplan.

If you crash while drinking and driving, you’re likely in breach of your insurance policy. That means you could be personally responsible for 100 per cent of the costs if you damage someone else’s property or injure them.

What Vic PD has to say...

There is about a 50/50 split in drivers blowing a “warn” or a “fail” on roadside screening devices. Drivers blowing “warn” are subject to a three day prohibition while drivers blowing “fail” or refusing to blow are banished for 90 days. In both cases the vehicles they are operate are impounded.

The new rules have been very effective and street officers are perceiving less incidents of highly impaired drivers on the road, however people are still being caught and those incidents share some commonalities. Many severely underestimate the level of their own impairment. People who swear they have only had one drink or finished drinking several hours ago often register a “fail” reading. Many people are still willing to chance it and try and drive home undetected, suggesting that public education can only carry the concepts of the deterrence factor within these programs so far. In the coming weeks VicPD will work with CRD police partners in a steadily increasing number of road blocks to intercept drinking drivers in the lead up to the Christmas season.

Finally, these are some of the more notable comments officers have received from recently prohibited drivers:

Wow. That last glass of wine cost me $500….
What? Can’t believe this… haven’t had a drink since yesterday
Yes I did a little coke tonight after my A.A. meeting
It was one drink but it might have been a really big drink
I wasn’t driving. I was just moving the car so I wouldn’t block other vehicles
I’m a lawyer but just a litigation lawyer. I need to phone a criminal lawyer
This car’s from the dealership. I’m going to be fired
Unresponsive…broke down and cried

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