Over the past few weeks we have received a number of calls from people seeking clarification about what they were told by ICBC or the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.
We have heard reports of people who have called ICBC or the OSMV and were informed that they can attend at ICBC and pick up their drivers licenses without installing the Interlock or taking the Responsible Drivers Program. When they actually get to ICBC, however, they find out that this is untrue and are asked to pay to register in these programs.
The advice people are given is inappropriate. Agents at ICBC are not in a position to give individuals legal advice. Many people have told us that they walked into an ICBC Driver Services Centre with the intent to seek a review of a driving prohibition, and walked away having been discouraged from doing so by someone working at ICBC Driver Services. Some individuals who had legitimate defenses to ADPs and IRPs were told that they cannot succeed with their dispute by someone at Driver Services.
It is unclear to us why some at ICBC are giving people false or misleading information. Unfortunately, the fallout from this is that we now are in the position where we must instruct our clients not to deal with ICBC on their own and not to rely on what ICBC is telling them.
What is worse is that many people who had stays of their driving prohibitions pending the Sivia decision are being misinformed by ICBC. For individuals who failed or refused to provide samples, the Attorney General’s office is no longer consenting to stays of the prohibition. Individuals whose interim stays have expired on February 7, 2012 are attempting to turn in their licenses. ICBC is informing them that they are still able to drive. This is not the case. The Court order granting the interim stay has expired.
The concern here is that the incorrect legal advice being given from ICBC puts people in jeopardy. They are no longer able to drive, because they are prohibited from driving. If they are caught driving, they risk facing Driving While Prohibited charges.
If you have received advice or information from ICBC regarding your driving prohibition, and are concerned that it may be inaccurate, please contact us. We are experienced in dealing with these cases and are familiar with the law as it is changing and evolving.