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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 09-04-2010, 08:33 AM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Vehicle Impounds as a Penalty

The use of vehicle impoundment as part of an array of penalties to discourage improper driving behaviour will expand significantly when amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act become law on September 20, 2010. In every case the cost of the impoundment will be the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle. If the owner was not the driver at the time, they may recover costs from the driver as a debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

In the case of an impaired driver with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over 80 mg% or who refuses to provide a breath sample, there will be a 24 hour vehicle impound if the driver is proceeded against under the Criminal Code. The impoundment period rises to 30 days if the officer decides to proceed using the Immediate Roadside Prohibition provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act instead. This new process will be the subject of future columns.

Drivers whose BAC falls between 50 and 80 mg% currently receive a 24 hour impoundment with their 24 hour prohibition. This will become a 3 day impoundment for a first instance, a 7 day impoundment for a second instance, and a 30 day impoundment for any subsequent instance that occurs within a 5 year period.

Unlicensed, suspended and prohibited drivers will see their impoundment periods drop from 30 days to 7 days. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles can escalate the length of the impoundment if the behaviour is repeated.

Finally, a new collection of bad driving behaviours will be subject to vehicle impoundment. Excessive speed, stunting, racing or operating a motorcycle without a proper license, while not seated properly or while not following license restrictions will bring an immediate 7 day impoundment. Again, the Superintendent may choose to escalate the impoundment period for repeat offenders. (These motorcycle provisions will come into effect at a later date to be determined by the legislature.)

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Old 09-04-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
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...and the towing company charges their own rates for storage and towing fees.
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
...operating a motorcycle... while not seated properly
Do you know what would be classified as "while not seated properly"?
Do they have a definition or is that another one of their ambiguous terms?
From time to time when I'm riding if its a long ride and theres a straight strech (and I have reasonale space around me from other traffic) I'll stand up on the pegs, or take my feet off the pegs to stretch out/uncramp my legs since that discomfort can become a distraction. (or when theres rather bumpy bits as it can be a bit hard on the nether regions, particularly with the narrow hard seat my bike is equipped with).
I'd assume its targeted with seat-standing or something stupid like that, but I'm concerned if theres the possibility of members of the enforcement community who could misunderstand the intention of the new laws. And I'd assume you dont really have much in the way of recourse from what it sounds if you're wrongfully charged?
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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And the propaganda machine kicks into high gear.

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About 10,000 tickets are issued by police annually for excessive speeding. As of Sept. 20, a charge of excessive speeding will trigger a mandatory seven-day impoundment for a first offence, a 30-day impoundment for a second, and 60 days for subsequent excessive speeding offences within two years.
I'm assuming these are BC numbers based on the total numbers of speeding tickets issued in BC (200,000+ in 2005).

And those are just the people who are caught. Conservatively, we could estimate that there are well over 20,000 excessive speeding instances. How many excessive speeders die annually as a result of this? And how many of them were NOT street racing, drunk or high?

In 2006, excessive speed killed 23 people. Failing to yield killed more people.

This should not be a priority for the road safety squad.
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
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so what is the new BAC limit? Since .08 now sounds like I can still get into trouble. (not that I ever had to worry)
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Old 09-04-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post
And the propaganda machine kicks into high gear.



I'm assuming these are BC numbers based on the total numbers of speeding tickets issued in BC (200,000+ in 2005).

And those are just the people who are caught. Conservatively, we could estimate that there are well over 20,000 excessive speeding instances. How many excessive speeders die annually as a result of this? And how many of them were NOT street racing, drunk or high?

In 2006, excessive speed killed 23 people. Failing to yield killed more people.

This should not be a priority for the road safety squad.
Very well said!! Too bad I cant thank your post ! People speed "excessively" on the Autobahn every single day... how come it is just as if not safer than our highways? I think we should prioritize on driver education and training instead. Then of course, training drivers and educating them to properly handle their cars at higher speeds doesn't make any money. Ticketing them does.

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Old 09-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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so what is the new BAC limit? Since .08 now sounds like I can still get into trouble. (not that I ever had to worry)
.05. Just don't drink before you drive, it's the primary cause of speed-related fatalities.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:55 PM   #8
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^ Is it also true that if you are under 21 years of age, theres a BAC limit of 0 (zero). And then when you are over 21 years of age, theres a BAC limit of 0.05.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:43 PM   #9
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There is a no alcohol rule for all drivers in the GLP regardless of their age. After that restriction is removed from your license then you are subject to the .05 limit.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:53 PM   #10
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^ Oh ok thanks.

I looked into it more and apparently it is in Ontario, where they have a zero tolerance BAC for anyone under 21.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:59 PM   #11
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Why not make the limit 0.0 for everyone?
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:55 PM   #12
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^because the general public (and voting population) would consider it unreasonable to not even be able to have a glass of wine with dinner.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:54 AM   #13
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Why not make the limit 0.0 for everyone?
because the convicted drunk driver that runs this province would never cut himself off?
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:01 AM   #14
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I believe the vast majority of people have more than one vehicle and those with the where with all to have a garage full aren't going to give a crap about this law.
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:14 AM   #15
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^because the general public (and voting population) would consider it unreasonable to not even be able to have a glass of wine with dinner.
"We the voting population want more to be done about drunk driving, but only if we can have a couple glasses of wine with dinner and drive home without being hassled".

The majority of the general public supports safety initiatives such as "using speed enforcement to reduce fatalities on public roads", yet the vast majority of them legally speed themselves.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:08 AM   #16
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the vast majority of them legally speed themselves.
Hmm... pretty sure that speeding is an absolute offense in BC.. no prima facie limits here.. so there is no such thing as "legally" speeding.

If you're found doing 51 in a 50, you're illegally speeding.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:18 AM   #17
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By legally I meant "according to the law".
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:04 AM   #18
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Hmm... pretty sure that speeding is an absolute offense in BC.. no prima facie limits here.. so there is no such thing as "legally" speeding.

If you're found doing 51 in a 50, you're illegally speeding.
true, but how many cops will really pull you over? the chances of the conviction holding are so slim, that most cops won't do it, they want a little bit of a leeway so that they can prove intent to speed, and not just. "Oh i went over a hill and took my foot of the gas late, hence the 51" thats why most cops i know will give you a 10kph bufferzone. this of course excludes parks and school zones (for obvious reasons)
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:10 AM   #19
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true, but how many cops will really pull you over? the chances of the conviction holding are so slim, that most cops won't do it, they want a little bit of a leeway so that they can prove intent to speed, and not just. "Oh i went over a hill and took my foot of the gas late, hence the 51" thats why most cops i know will give you a 10kph bufferzone. this of course excludes parks and school zones (for obvious reasons)
The point is not about what speed a cop tickets for, but about the majority of people who are usually in favor of "traffic enforcement catching the maniac driver flying past in the left lane" actually speed themselves (as far as the law goes).

Most people who say "I don't speed" underestimate their average travel speeds. They may not speed relative to other cars around them, but they speed relative to the posted limit. Unfortunately this generally harmless act can result in expensive tickets and licence suspensions.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:12 AM   #20
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If you're found doing 51 in a 50, you're illegally speeding.
So is there a difference betweel legally drunk and illegally drunk?

But ocifer, I'm legally drunk! Ok, be on your way then
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:18 PM   #21
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:19 PM   #22
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"Impaired" does not require alcohol...it can be drugs or other factors. Having a BAC over .05 will get you a 24 hr prohib, having a BAC over .08 can get you charged with operating/having care and control with over .08%. What is "drunk"? If you are "drunk" by the normal definitions they you would have to be "impaired". If you are "drunk" and in a public place and not driving/ care & control of a vehicle you can end up in the tank until sober and be given a VT.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:59 PM   #23
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All joking aside, these new impound laws give the police too much power that should normally be reserved for the courts. The police now get to play the role of judge, jury and executioner all in a matter of minutes at the roadside.

Skirting due process does nothing but undermine the justice system.

We know that something as simple as how politely the driver talks to the officer, or even the officer's mood that day can influence whether the officer writes a ticket for a driving infraction. There is little doubt in my mind that something so trivial like that will now result in the loss of one's vehicle for a week.

Drivers will have no opportunity to contest the impoundment and should they later be found not guilty of the charge which brought about the impoundment, there is no way to "undo" that penalty.


"Absolute power corrupts absolutely"
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:41 AM   #24
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Drivers will have no opportunity to contest the impoundment and should they later be found not guilty of the charge which brought about the impoundment, there is no way to "undo" that penalty.
This is not correct. There are provisions in the new law for reviews and reimbursement.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:12 AM   #25
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This is not correct. There are provisions in the new law for reviews and reimbursement.
But an immediate impoundment is just that. You don't have access to your car until the review can take place.

I don't care about the reimbursement. If I am cleared of any wrongdoing, I shouldn't have been deprived of lawful enjoyment of my car in the first place.

Any police officer who supports this might as well have been rounding up innocent passers by at the G20 protests and locking them up overnight on suspicion of being anarchists.
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