Drivers whose breath sample on a screening device is above .05 blood-alcohol content now face three- to 30-day vehicle impoundments, and other consequences.
In B.C., a vehicle driven by someone with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .05 can be taken off the road by police and impounded for three to 30 days. The length of impoundment depends on the driver's BAC, and whether they've been caught before.
Police can continue to impound a vehicle for 24 hours, without needing a breath sample, when drivers are impaired by drugs, alcohol or both.
The vehicle's owner is responsible for all towing and storage costs.
Other changes to the Motor Vehicle Act now mean impaired drivers also face an immediate roadside prohibition and higher costs.
For three- and seven-day impoundments you may go directly back to the impoundment lot.
For impoundments longer than seven days, you will need to go to a driver licensing office with required ID, then collect your vehicle and pay related charges at the impoundment lot.
ICBC administers the filing of appeals on behalf of the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) for vehicle impoundments longer than seven days.
Important: You cannot appeal a three- or a seven-day impoundment for impaired driving.
To file an appeal for impoundments 30 days or longer, go to any driver licensing office. Be sure to bring your Notice of Impoundment with you.
Learn more about B.C.’s impaired driving laws on the OSMV website.
Source: Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.