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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 07-23-2009, 06:11 PM   #1
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Behind the Wheel - Vehicle Impounds

Taking your neighbour's request at face value turned out to be an expensive lesson for Jessica. She had loaned her vehicle to a neighbour and somewhere along the journey the neighbour met up with the police. The neighbour was a vehicle impound candidate because they didn't have a valid driver's license and Jessica was now faced with making an application to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to attempt to have her vehicle returned to her before the end of the impoundment period.

The neighbour was well aware that they were unlicensed because vehicle impoundment does not occur until after the person is convicted of driving without a driver's license and they don't bother to renew.

The officer who stopped the driver was left without a choice because the legislation requires that the impoundment take place.

Discretion may be exercised by the Superintendent who can decide to return the vehicle to the owner before the end of the impoundment period. Stolen vehicles, errors by police or ICBC regarding a driver's status as an impound candidate, or the exercise of due diligence by the owner in loaning the vehicle may be considered. In order to trigger a review, Jessica will be required to pay a fee and complete a document explaining her reasoning.

Being shown what appears to be a valid driver's license may not be enough peace of mind. Many prohibited drivers fail to turn in their licenses as the law requires. Unless you are absolutely certain of the driver's status, it is not a good practice to loan your vehicle.

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Old 07-23-2009, 07:19 PM   #2
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Does the law require an officer to impond a vehicle if the registered owner is in the passenger seat and the unlicenced driver is driving? That way the licenced, registered owner would not lose their car.

I still think denying the owner of lawful enjoyment of their vehicle should in itself be illegal.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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The legislation says "shall impound"...that means MUST. The penalty is against driver and any vehicle he/she is driving, gets impounded...along with any tickets. The fact that the owner is sitting next to him has nothing to do with what happens to the car. As Skidmark has said above, the driver without a DL, or prohibited and without a DL is the bad guy....not the Police. The owner is responsible for insuring only licensed drivers operate his/her vehicle. In your scenario some Cops could consider a VT for the owner for permitting an unlicensed driver to drive.....and I have had many cases where the owner DID know...and they got into attempts to switch drivers while being stopped by me. In those cases I also sent a letter to MVB telling them of the criminal Code attempt by both to obstruct the Police. The unlicensed driver is the person responsible for "denying the owner of lawful enjoyment of their vehicle should in itself be illegal." If the owner knew or did not do there homework, they are also responsible...not the Cops.
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