24 Hour Prohibitions

Counter Attack LogoCould you please explain a 24-hour suspension of driving privileges? What exactly does this mean? A 24 hour driving prohibition is used when a police officer believes that a person is the driver of or has care and control of a motor vehicle on a highway or industrial road and their ability is impaired by alcohol or a drug. It allows the temporary removal of a significant hazard on our highways and gives the driver time to sober before getting behind the wheel again.

To initiate this prohibition the officer will direct the driver off of the road, serve a notice of prohibition and demand the surrender of that person's driver's license. Typically, the prohibition will be the result of a "warn" or "fail" reading after the officer uses an Approved Screening Device (ASD) to test the driver for alcohol. This would mean that the driver has a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 50 mg% or greater.

However, use of an ASD is not necessary for an alcohol related prohibition nor possible to use to test for drugs other than alcohol. Reasonable and probable grounds that the driver is impaired by alcohol or a drug are enough for the officer to make the decision to prohibit. If reasonable and probable grounds alone are used, the driver can demand a breath test in the case of alcohol use or satisfy the officer that they are not impaired by a drug, typically by a blood test, the officer must terminate the prohibition.

Demanding a breath test to show that you are under the 50 mg% level could be risky. If you blow over 80 mg% you are subject to a 90 day Administrative Driving Prohibition in addition, and you supply the officer with grounds to proceed with an impaired driving investigation.

Finally, drivers who are served with a 24 hour prohibition will almost certainly have their vehicle impounded for the 24 hours. The towing and storage fees are the responsibility of the driver or vehicle owner and must be paid to get the vehicle out of impound. Would the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles consider your driving record as a good one or a bad one? This may determine a more lengthy period of prohibition if you collect multiple 24 hour prohibitions over a two year period. Bad drivers may face action after two prohibitions and any other driver after three.

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Contributed by E-Mail

I've always enjoyed reading your online columns. I can't honestly say I agree with everything, but on the whole you present the law well to those who do not understand it.

I just wanted to comment on your article about 24 hour prohibitions. I have been driving for many years and hold a class 1 licence, therefore I have made it my business to know the laws. Twice in my lifetime I have been harassed and told to surrender my licence for a 24 hour suspension. Each time I had no more than 2 beers in a 1.5 hour period, but had the smell of beer on my breath, so bingo in the head of a police officer. I am 6'0" tall and weigh 210 lbs. Each time I was threatened, I refused to give up my licence and demanded to be taken in for a breathalyzer test to prove my innocence of being over .05. This has always been my right under the law. But each time the officer in question refused to take me in, and just let me go on my way. Either that is plain laziness or sloppy police work if they had reasonable cause to suspect. Another time I was just very tired after a double run to Seattle that day and driving home. That time they wanted me to go in and blow. I was mighty angry, and demanded to show my log book (which was in my car) to prove that I was tired and not drunk. In fact, I do not ever drink even one beer if I am behind the wheel of a rig, although I do know the legal limit for truckers is .02. To make a long story short, they refused to look at my log book, and then refused to take me in to blow. More laziness or soppy police work. I could mention a couple of other times, but that would be pointless. All in all, most officers I have come in contact are professional, courteous, and follow the law and police procedure. But there are some bad apples out there who either harass needlessly, become extremely rude, or worse. Please keep that in mind the next time someone innocent person gets testy when they're stopped, because they too might have had previous experiences like mine. And for a professional driver like myself, I will fight tooth and nail against being railroaded into what could possibly be a whim on the officers part, and would stay of my driving record for 5 years, thereby effectively blackballing me from employment, even though I am within the law and my rights at the time.

Sorry for the minor rant, but this is an issue that has always bothered me, and your article touched a nerve.

Keep up the good work though, online, and on the road.

Comment Moved to Appropriate Thread

if i get a 24 hour supension in B.C with alberta plates and alberta drivers licence (class 1) will it go on my record in alberta or just in B.C

Yes, This is Possible

There are reciprocal agreements in place for sharing conviction information between various provinces and states, so it is possible that this could happen to you. I have personally seen a BC driving record with a Nevada impaired driving conviction shown on it.

Jobs + 24 Hour Suspension

Does a 1st Time -- 24 hour suspension prevent one from being considered seriously from certain job applications (i.e. police officer)? If so, is there a possible way to get this revoked from your Driving Abstract Record -- or how can an individual sincerely go about this ?

Drivers Abstract

The only way to have this removed from your driving record is to show that it was improperly issued.

It may have an effect on getting a job, depending on the potential employers policies.

Since BC driver abstracts only cover the last 5 years of your driving history, eventually it may not appear on your abstract anymore.

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