Yes, most of us know the law.
If the police demand it, you must:
- blow into the ASD.
- go with the police and give breath or blood samples for further analysis.
You must do these things unless you have a reasonable excuse not to. If you refuse to do them, you are committing an offence.
What is a reasonable excuse?
Courts are strict about what a reasonable excuse is. You may have a reasonable excuse if the police don’t let you speak to a lawyer in private before requiring you to give samples. But you must assert or claim your right to a lawyer. This means that when the police tell you your rights under the Charter
, you must say you want to use, or exercise, those rights and speak to a lawyer. The legal issues are complicated and the best warning is this: if the police demand you take a breathalyzer test, talk to a lawyer before doing so. Then, follow the lawyer’s advice.
Police in B.C. can issue an immediate roadside prohibition to an impaired driver with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .05 or higher.
(The BAC is based on a breath sample into a roadside screening device.)
The driver’s vehicle can also be immediately taken off the road (external - login to view)
Warn range (.05 – .08 BAC)
If your breath sample is between .05 and .08 BAC, you fall into the warn range
Fail range (more than .0
If you are over .08 or refuse to provide a breath sample, you fall into the fail range
How long does the driving prohibition last?
Impaired drivers in the .05–.08 warn range are prohibited from driving for three, seven or 30 days
. The prohibition escalates depending on whether it is the first, second or third time a driver is caught within a five-year period.
Drivers over .08 are prohibited from driving for 90 days
, and may face criminal charges, too.
Costs related to these offences can add up to an estimated $600 to $4,060
—even if it’s the first time a driver is caught