DUI Penalties in British Columbia

The Penalties for DUI / IRP in BC are equally harsh and double edged. Penalties can occur on both the Criminal Side and the Civil Side with an Enhanced Penalty scheme for certain offenders.

Civil Penalties

On a first DUI / IRP offence, even if you are not found not guilty, the DOL and the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles will civilly suspend your driver licence for 90 days, unless you pay fees to contest the hearing and win it. BC does not offer occupational driver permits.

In British Columbia, the DUI / IRP offenses (Impaired, over .08, and refusal) are criminal offences and can be charged as Summary or Indictable matters.

Under the New Legislative scheme of the Criminal Code, RSC

On your First Conviction:

  1. a mandatory minimum Court Fine of $1,000, plus
  2. 15% Victim Fine Surcharge of the Court Fine
  3. 1 year Driving Ban (Prohibition) across Canada

On your Second Conviction:

  1. a mandatory minimum of 30 days jail
  2. a mandatory minimum of a 2-5 Year Driving Ban (Prohibition) across Canada from the Criminal Court
  3. a minimum 3 Year driving prohibition from the Office of Superintendant of Motor Vehicles (OSMV)
  4. 10 Driver Points on your License from ICBC or
  5. Driver Risk Premiums

On your Third or Subsequent Conviction:

  1. mandatory minimum of 90 days jail
  2. possible lifetime license prohibition
  3. 10 Driver Points on your License from ICBC or
  4. Driver Risk Premiums

ICBC Consequences from Criminal Convictions:

  1. Driver Point Premiums (“DPP”) for Impaired offences, which can lead to additional license prohibitions and large payments for DPP.
  2. Driver Risk Premiums (“DRP”) for Impaired offences, which lead to large fines. One conviction will result in $905 of penalties per year for 3 years. A second conviction will be $3,760. DRP is separate from Autoplan, so you will be billed even if you don’t insure a vehicle. If you don’t pay, then ICBC will charge interest on the debt and may refuse to issue you a license or deal with insurance transfers until the debt is paid.
  3. Ignition Interlock: Installing a device into any car that you operate, which tests for breath alcohol. The machine can be costly to install and maintain, and depending on the circumstances, may be required for up to 10 years.
  4. Automatic Insurance Breach: you may have to pay for all the property damage to the vehicle you were in, damage to other vehicles, any tort or personal injury claims, and legal fees from injured parties.

The Crown and the State are serious about prosecuting you for a DUI/IRP; you should be just as serious about getting legal representation to protect your rights. Don’t underestimate the power of the State and don’t underestimate the power of an  experienced DUI defence lawyer.  Surrey Criminal Defense Attorney Dil Gosal defends clients from Greater Vancouver.