CASE LAW - Nguyen v British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles)
On January 13, 2015 Van Nhut Nguyen was sentenced for failing to produce his driver's licence. The penalty was a $750 fine and one year term of probation during which he was not allowed to operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 7:00 pm and 6:00 am. It would appear that this is the result of an incident of driving while being prohibited from doing so.
On January 28, 2015 the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles gave Mr. Nguyen notice that he intended to prohibit him from driving for a period of 6 months because it was in the public interest to do so. Mr. Nguyen responded that to do so would impose a significant financial hardship on his family. The Superintendent took this into account and ultimately imposed a prohibition for 3 months. Mr. Nguyen, through counsel, requested the court to reconsider the Superintendent's decision.
Counsel's position was that the prohibition was unreasonable because the Superintendent's decision was arbitrary and unreasonable because he inferred that Nguyen was driving while prohibited from doing so due to the failing to produce driver's licence conviction.
Mr. Justice McEwan dismissed the appeal because the penalty applied was within the Superintendent's guidelines and the Superintendent was not bound to track similar penalties applied by the provincial court.