The hidden penalties of drinking and driving

Published October 2011 (The Golden Star)

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Over 10,000 drivers have been taken off the road in BC in the last year for drinking and driving.   There are many ways to lose your driver’s licence.   The most controversial is the 90 day immediate roadside prohibition.

This is like it sounds – you lose your licence for 90 days and the 90 days starts immediately.   In addition, the vehicle you are driving is towed away and impounded for 30 days.   The cost of getting the vehicle back can be over $1000.     And you pay a $500 fine.

So, no licence for 90 days, no car for 30 days, towing bill of $1000 and fine of $500.

How much will it cost you to replace your vehicle for a month and to have someone drive you to work, shopping and appointments?

But that is only the beginning.   In order to get a temporary licence after the 90 day suspension, you will have to attend a course for impaired drivers.   The cost of the course to you is $880 plus HST of $105.60.   But it’s not in Golden; you have to travel to Cranbrook or farther to take it. Add in your travel, accommodation and meal expenses.

After that you will have to pay to get the temporary licence.   This costs $250.

Next, once you get your temporary licence you will be limited to a single vehicle to drive.

Before you can drive though you have to pay to have an ignition lock system installed on that vehicle and the system will need to be serviced.   The costs of installation and service are about $1730 plus HST of $207.60.   So far, this work is only done in Kelowna, so you have to take the vehicle there several times (without your driver’s licence the first time).  

Once a year has gone by you can pay to remove the ignition lock system and pay to get a permanent licence again.

Total bill ? Over $5000. All of this without going to court or having a trial.

You have the right to apply for a review of a driving prohibition, but you only have seven days from the day you receive the prohibition.   And yes, there is a cost to that too…..

Published October 2011 (The Golden Star)


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