What To Do If You've Been Charged With an IRP in BC

Written by Jerry Steele


What To Do If You've Been Charged With an IRP in BC

Written by Jerry Steele

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For more than 20 years, Steele Law has successfully guided individuals and business entities through the unique challenges posed by criminal and regulatory investigations, as well as prosecutions in state and federal courts nationwide.
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One of the potential consequences of drinking and driving in BC is receiving an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP). This administrative penalty can significantly impact your life, such as suspending your driver’s licence and impounding your vehicle. If you find yourself facing an IRP, it’s important to know what to do. There are specific time constraints in these cases, meaning time is essential. 

BC IRP Charges

In this blog, we’ll discuss the steps you should take if you’ve been charged with an IRP in BC.

Seek Legal Representation

In the case of an IRP or another criminal charge, contacting a skilled criminal defence lawyer should be your first step. With their guidance, you’ll be able to understand the process, your rights, and potential defences. A lawyer will also review your case and advise whether it’s worth fighting the IRP. 

But keep in mind, even if you’re convinced you have no case, it’s essential to consult with a lawyer before making any decisions. Even if you can’t get your charges totally dropped, a lawyer may be able to help you obtain a reduced penalty or even keep your licence.

Request a Review

If you’ve been issued an IRP, you have seven days from the date of issuance to request a review of the decision. This means you must submit your written request to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles within one week. Having a lawyer assist you with this process is incredibly beneficial, as they can ensure all necessary information and arguments are included in your submission.

Attend the Hearing

After requesting a review, a hearing will typically be scheduled within 21 days. During this time, gather any evidence that may support your case, such as proof that you were not driving at the time of the incident or evidence of a medical condition that could have caused false readings on a breathalyzer test. Again, having a lawyer guide you through this process can significantly boost your chances of success.

Possible Outcomes

At the hearing, there are several potential outcomes: 

  • Your IRP could be cancelled, meaning you will not face any penalties or lose your licence. 
  • Your IRP could be upheld, in which case you will face the penalties outlined in the Motor Vehicle Act
  • Your IRP could be reduced to a 3-day Driving Prohibition and a $200 fine.

Warn vs. Fail vs. Refusal

It’s also useful to note that IRPs can be issued for three different reasons: warn, fail, or refusal. A warning is given when a driver’s blood alcohol level is between 0.05 and 0.08, while a fail indicates a blood alcohol level above 0.08. Refusal means the driver refused to provide a breath sample or performed poorly on a physical sobriety test.

Different penalties may be imposed depending on which of these factors apply to your situation. 

Conclusion: Call Jerry Steele

Receiving an IRP can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but it’s important not to give up hope. Call Jerry Steele now and start building your case. With the proper evidence and legal guidance, you can successfully dispute your IRP and avoid penalties or licence suspension.