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Review of Immediate Roadside Prohibitions

The most significant concern apparent to me with regard to the new Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) program in BC is that the police are seen to be the judge and jury at roadside. This has been the case since the creation of the roadside prohibition many years ago, the only thing that has changed is the size of the penalty. Few people seem to be aware that this action is subject to review both by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles and the courts.

There are three valid grounds for appeal of an IRP action: you did not operate or have can and control of the vehicle, your breath test did not register a warn or a fail and you either did not refuse or had a reasonable excuse for refusing to provide a breath sample. The Superintendent's adjudicator will not consider other reasons for review.

On application for review you will be provided with a copy of the police information that the adjudicator will consider. You may present your case either in writing or when permitted at an oral review. The decision will have one of three outcomes: the driving prohibition is revoked, the period of prohibition is changed or the prohibition is confirmed.

Fees and monetary penalties may be changed or refunded depending on the success of your review.

If you do not agree with the Superintendent's decision, you may apply to the Supreme Court of British Columbia for a review. If you are successful here, the court will state the reasons that the decision is set aside and remit the matter to the Superintendent for a rehearing.

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