Police Powers to Take Driver's Licence for Non-DUI

I was wondering when police have the power or ability to take a driver's licence. Or suspend the licence. Or impound the vehicle.

Essentially, what are police powers to immediately prevent a driver from driving after a traffic stop?

For example, in BC's IRP program (and other areas' equivalents) and 24-hour suspension, police have the power to immediately remove a driver from the road for alcohol or drug impaired driving. For excessive speeding, police have the power to immediately impound the vehicle.

But is there some sort of legislation that allows police to immediately take a person's driver's licence away in general, for reasons like public safety? For example, this type of legislation may apply if a person has impairment due to a medical condition (that the legislation might not explicitly refer to). 

What are immediate police options in BC? In other provinces and terrorities of Canada?

What about in the United States?

Thanks for your answers!

Answer

I'm guessing by take away licence, you are actually saying remove a driver's ability to drive legally.

Aside from the specific situations set out in the Motor Vehicle Act that you mention, police act as agents for ICBC and the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. The most common action taken is the service of a driving prohibition, either because the OSMV cannot find the driver or the driver refuses to acknowledge the prohibition.

Other issues become more difficult. The police have a duty to protect the public and can take action to prevent a person from driving to protect them from themselves or to protect others from them. The action must be justified, and if so, does not require a specific law governing that particular circumstance.

In the case of simply taking away the driver's licence card, "your" driver's licence is actually the property of ICBC. I once found a driver who was in her early 30s and had a photo of a senior citizen on her driver's licence. It had been produced with the correct details but the wrong photo. I called ICBC from the roadside and was directed to return the licence to them. The woman was not impressed because she had great fun showing it off at social gatherings.

Thanks for your quick answer.

Thanks for your quick answer. It is helpful.

In terms of these sentences,

The police have a duty to protect the public and can take action to prevent a person from driving to protect them from themselves or to protect others from them. The action must be justified, and if so, does not require a specific law governing that particular circumstance.

I'm interpreting that police can prevent a person from driving if the officer believes the person is a danger to themselves or others when driving. Is that general 'power' stated in the motor vehicle legislation or in another piece of legislation?

Common Law

It's not legislation as such but part of our legal history. Here's a Wikipedia entry for Ancillary Powers Doctrine.

Thank you!

Thanks, this is helpful!

From interest ...

... it would be instructive to know what (or who) has triggered this line of inquiry.

Curiosity

In BC, the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles can suspend/cancel a licence of a person who is unfit to drive after a review process. But what if an officer pulls over someone and believes this person is unfit to drive, for example, due to a medical condition? What are some immediate options for the officer to prevent this person from continuing to drive?

DriveSmartBC's answer is helpful because it states that police have the ability stop a drive who they consider a danger on the road. I'm just curious as to the legislation, and if this is consistent with other areas in North America.

Nothing to do with personal experience. Just curiosity.

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