BC Impaired Driving Rules Reinstated

On a recent trip to Whistler, British Columbia, I read an article about B.C.’s Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) laws. Apparently, as of June 15, police in B.C. began enforcing harsher IRP laws for impaired drivers. This was as a result of a recent B.C. Supreme Court ruling.

Last December, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that the province’s new impaired driving laws – hailed as the toughest in the country when they were introduced in September 2010 – were unconstitutional.

This month, with a crucial change, the IRP was reinstated and put back into full force and effect: now, all drivers that provide breath samples above the “warning” level will be given a second breathalyzer test. Because breath test machines are not exact, the “warn” limit has been raised from .05 to .06 percent on the low end, while anyone testing at the impaired limit of .08 generally registers as a warn as well.

Under the now restored B.C. IRP laws, an impaired driver will lose his or her license for 90 days and pay for a 30 day vehicle impound. They also have to pay to install an interlock device on their cars that requires them to provide breath samples to start and operate the vehicle, plus a $500 fine, a $250 fee to reinstate their license, and $600 for an education program. The total cost is at least $4,500 for the driver.

Like Washington State DUI laws, the B.C. legislation has always been about public safety. B.C., like Washington State, has taken a very tough stance on impaired driving. A great deal of the impaired driving legislation is geared towards deterrence, which is a critical component to the public safety goals.

Ultimately the goal of the IRP program, like Washington State’s DUI laws, is to reduce impaired driving fatalities. Similar to the B.C. IRP program, last summer the Washington State Patrol instituted its “Target Zero” program in the hopes of reducing DUI related fatalities.

Because of the significant implications a DUI arrest and/or conviction can have, it is imperative that a person charged with DUI in Washington State immediately retain a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer or a qualified Bellevue DUI lawyer. In many instances, a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer can significantly reduce the impact that a DUI charge will have on an individual’s life. The right Seattle DUI attorney will be worth his/her weight in gold when protecting a person’s rights, freedom and future. The Seattle DUI attorneys that make up the litigation team of SQ Attorneys are dedicated to defending those accused of drunk driving. They have the experience, knowledge and resources to successfully defend your case. Unlike other law firms that practice in many areas of the law, SQ Attorneys is focused on criminal defense representation with an emphasis on DUI defense in Western Washington.

If you or a loved one is faced with a DUI charge in Western Washington, you deserve the assistance of a reputable and qualified Seattle DUI attorney who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI lawyer who has an intimate understanding of Washington DUI laws and the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle DUI defense attorney who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington DUI law firm for the job. Call for a free initial consultation – (206) 441.0900 (Seattle); (425) 998-8384 (Eastside) – it will be the best decision you make all day.

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10.0Gregory Wayne Schwesinger
10.0Saad Qamer Qadri