RDP and Interlock review at the OSMV
As we reported last week, the strong legal arguments that we presented concerning the so-called remedial requirements put the Government’s back against the wall and now they are conducting an RDP and Interlock review at the OSMV for 1200 drivers who were in limbo due to Sivia.
We got the ball rolling when we first learned of this group of people back in late September 2012. We put our plan into motion when six courageous British Columbians decided to take a stand and challenge the decision. These clients, who are the heroes of this story, instructed us to take this all the way. They wanted to challenge the decision to compel them to have an interlock installed and take the Responsible Driver Program (RDP).
The law says that the RDP and interlock are not inevitable consequences of receiving a 90-day IRP. The police are specifically instructed to never mention the RDP and interlock to people when they issue a 90-day IRP. If you lose at your review hearing, the adjudicator will write that you may be required to participate in the remedial program (i.e.) the RDP and interlock. This is the big lie.
It’s a big lie because the OSMV formed their own internal policy. Regardless of your driving record, if you received a 90-day prohibition they would later force you to do the RDP and get an interlock if you were ever to be permitted to drive again in BC. It was never an issue of “may” and everybody at the OSMV knew it. In their internal policy manual it calls these requirements “automatic.”
But their internal policy runs counter to the legislation. By not reviewing the driving records of people, they were breaking the law. It is contrary to the law to form a policy that says the remedial requirements are automatic. It was surreptitious and dirty to claim that the remedial requirements “may” be demanded when everyone knew damn well that the Government had an internal policy forcing everyone into the program.
The new RDP and Interlock review
As of last week the Government conceded that they screwed up, at least with respect to this group of people. What they have yet to concede is that this applies to everyone. The law says that the OSMV must review your driving record. And this is something they have never done.
On receiving a 90-day IRP, the legislation only triggers a review of your driving record to see whether the remedial requirements are appropriate. It only makes sense, therefore, that the remedial requirements not be universally applied. If your record is otherwise good, the simple fact of a 90-day IRP should not trigger the interlock and RDP.
As far as we’re concerned, the same strong legal arguments that we advanced in Petitions for our 6 clients and in letters for 10 others apply equally to everyone. Each person who receives a 90-day IRP should have their driving history reviewed to determine whether it is appropriate to compel them to do the RDP and interlock. If the person has no history of alcohol-related offences, they should be exempt.
Who is exempt from the RDP and interlock so far?
On Friday in the early evening the OSMV faxed letters to our office explaining that our six clients who had started actions by way of Petition in BC Supreme Court were no longer required to comply with the remedial requirements. They were now exempt on the basis of their driving records. They have their drivers licenses back at this moment.
How long it will take them to review the files of the other 1194 people has not been disclosed. There is some indication that they will reimburse people who paid for the RDP and interlock. In other words, your tax money will be used to pay for the Government’s screw up.
And the costs will only compound. So far we are six for six with respect to clients who have had the remedial requirements lifted. Something like 35,000 people have received a 90-day IRP. The legislation says that the Interlock and RDP can only follow if a review of their driving record warrants the remedial requirements.
The Government may have no choice but to reimburse these expenses for a significant number of people. What’s that gonna cost? We don’t know. We know that it’s money that could have been spent on early childhood education or for some other worthy objective.