Driving While Prohibited (13:XI)
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on August 21, 2020.|
It is an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act s 95(1)(a) to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or industrial road knowing that they are prohibited from doing so under:
- ss 91 (prohibition issued by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for an unsatisfied court judgment),
- 92 (prohibition against driving relating to fitness or ability to drive),
- 93 (prohibition issued by Superintendent in the public interest),
- 94.2 (driving prohibition for driving while impaired by alcohol or refusing to provide a breath sample without reasonable excuse),
- 215 (24 hour impaired driving prohibition),
- 215.43 (immediate roadside driving prohibition), or
- 251(4) (prohibition for driving while failing to hold a license, or while an impoundment notice was issued on the license).
Then the person commits an offence and is liable:
- on a first conviction, to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $2 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or to both, and
- on a subsequent conviction, regardless of when the contravention occurred, to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $2 000 and to imprisonment for not less than 14 days and not more than one year.
- The individual's driving record will also be blemished and they will receive a 10 point Motor Vehicle Act infraction on their record.
The term “knowingly” means that Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged knew that they were prohibited from driving. However, service of a prohibition certificate by registered mail, per Motor Vehicle Act s 95(4)(a) constitutes constructive knowledge, even in cases where the accused never reads the driving prohibition: R v Wall, 2010 BCPC 316.
The prohibited driver’s vehicle will likely be impounded if caught driving while prohibited. For more information on vehicle impoundment, please see https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/driving-prohibitions-suspensions/prohibitions-and-suspensions/caught-driving-while-prohibited.
It is advisable that individuals charged with Driving While Prohibited seek out legal advice from a lawyer. It is possible to work out a plea deal with the Crown Counsel to a lesser included offence of Driving Without a Licence pursuant to s 24(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act. The benefits of this resolution are that:
- There is no statutory minimum driving prohibition;
- No minimum fine amount; and
- The individual's driving record will only be blemished with a 3 point Motor Vehicle Act infraction on their record.
|© Copyright 2020, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.|