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24 Hour Prohibitions

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24 Hour Prohibitions

Could you please explain a 24-hour suspension of driving privileges? What exactly does this mean?

A 24 hour driving prohibition is used when a police officer believes that a person is the driver of or has care and control of a motor vehicle on a highway or industrial road and their ability is impaired by alcohol or a drug. It allows the temporary removal of a significant hazard on our highways and gives the driver time to sober before getting behind the wheel again. To initiate this prohibition the officer will direct the driver off of the road, serve a notice of prohibition and demand the surrender of that person's driver's license.

Typically, the prohibition will be the result of a "warn" or "fail" reading after the officer uses an Approved Screening Device (ASD) to test the driver for alcohol. This would mean that the driver has a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 50 mg% or greater. However, use of an ASD is not necessary for an alcohol related prohibition nor possible to use to test for drugs other than alcohol. Reasonable and probable grounds that the driver is impaired by alcohol or a drug are enough for the officer to make the decision to prohibit.

If reasonable and probable grounds alone are used, the driver can demand a breath test in the case of alcohol use or satisfy the officer that they are not impaired by a drug, typically by a blood test, the officer must terminate the prohibition. Demanding a breath test to show that you are under the 50 mg% level could be risky. If you blow over 80 mg% you are subject to a 90 day Administrative Driving Prohibition in addition, and you supply the officer with grounds to proceed with an impaired driving investigation.

Finally, drivers who are served with a 24 hour prohibition will almost certainly have their vehicle impounded for the 24 hours. The towing and storage fees are the responsibility of the driver or vehicle owner and must be paid to get the vehicle out of impound.

Would the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles consider your driving record as a good one or a bad one? This may determine a more lengthy period of prohibition if you collect multiple 24 hour prohibitions over a two year period. Bad drivers may face action after two prohibitions and any other driver after three.