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Reconsideration of Referral to Remedial Programs

Reconsideration_Remedial_Programs_IRP-300x225If you have been referred to the Responsible Driver Program (RDP) and/or the Ignition Interlock Program (IIP) we can assist you to dispute the referral to the remedial programs. A procedure is now in place for reconsideration of the Referral to Remedial Programs that always comes with a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition. If you are serving your 90-day IRP, you can expect the letter to arrive within days of the end of the 90-day period.


Notice to Refer to Remedial Programs:

The standard form letter from the Ministry of Justice / RoadSafetyBC indicates to the driver that on review of their driving record, the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has determined that the driver’s driving record is unsatisfactory and consequently the Superintendent has made the decision to refer the driver to participate in the Responsible Driver Program (RDP). The letter is entitled “Notice to Refer to Remedial Programs.” The letter is standardized and sent to every driver who has been issued a 90-day IRP. If you have a 90-day IRP, you will be sent the letter referring you to the remedial programs.

In one version of the letter you learn that once you pay the fees and start the program, the program providers, a private company called Stroh Health Care, will make the determination/recommendation as to whether you must also complete the Interlock program. This is found under the heading “Possible Further Remediation.”

In another version of the letter you will see that the decision has already been made requiring that you comply with the Ignition Interlock Program. You can find an example of that letter here.

Reconsideration of the referral to the Remedial Programs – Application for Reconsideration:

Because of “strong legal arguments” that we presented in a test case, there is now a review process in place to challenge the remedial programs referral. Obviously this is worthwhile in many cases because if you manage avoid participating in the Responsible Driver Program, then you can avoid the Interlock program (IIP).

You have 30 days from the date of the letter to have your package submitted seeking reconsideration. If you submit your package late, you may wait months to hear back from them and in the interim, if you don’t register and pay for the programs, your license will be cancelled and you will be indefinitely prohibited from driving in BC.

It’s very important, therefore, to submit your material including your completed submissions on the law and relevant circumstances well within the 30-day period. The Ministry of Justice / RoadSafetyBC is absolutely inflexible on this timeline.

What should be included in the Application for Reconsideration package:

The Application for Reconsideration is a legal process that arises by operation of the BC Motor Vehicle Act. The Superintendent’s discretion is broad and nearly absolute. If properly applied, the primary consideration is public safety.

BC_Remedial_Programs_RoadSafetyBC-300x200The reconsideration program that we designed when we developed our “strong legal arguments” includes a discussion of the legal principles applicable to the particular individual in light of their driving history and circumstances. Each case is different depending upon where people are in the course of their life, their life history and their driving history.

Our lawyers compelled the Superintendent’s office to disclose the “Guidelines for Reconsideration of Referrals to Remedial Programs” which assists us in drafting the submissions. We have found that full and detailed submissions are necessary to successfully dispute the Referral to Remedial Programs. Not everyone will be successful.

If you have received a “Notice to Refer to Remedial Programs” call us as soon as possible and we discuss your options. We can usually tell in a 5 to 10 minute interview over the phone whether you should dispute the referral or register for the program.

The clock is ticking. It takes several days to put together proper submissions. Call us right away so we can get to work for you.

Background of the Remedial Programs:

The BC Motor Vehicle Act says that the Interlock and RDP remedial programs are discretionary. Until April 2013, the Office of the Superintendent or Motor Vehicles (RoadSafetyBC) automatically referred each driver through these programs. If you received a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) or 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP) you were automatically compelled to complete these programs at an approximate cost of $2700.

We challenged the interpretation of the law that had been used by RoadSafetyBC by making reconsideration submissions for our clients. We developed a reconsideration process including evidence and submissions to form an application for reconsideration. When RoadSafetyBC refused to consider the submissions we made on behalf of our clients, our law office took the matter to BC Supreme Court. In January 2013, RoadSafetyBC agreed to lift the Interlock and RDP for the first group of our clients.

Our lawyers then launched another legal challenge on behalf of our clients and everyone else who received an automatic referral to the remedial programs. In April 2013, RoadSafetyBC conceded that we were right and created a review procedure that accords with the procedure we designed in our law office.

We accept cases from clients around BC who want reconsideration of the decision to refer them to the remedial programs.

About Acumen Law Corporation and the IRP scheme:

We are skilled criminal defence and driving lawyers with offices in Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond and Surrey BC.

In 2010, when the BC government introduced the law to create the IRP scheme, we quickly identified the problems with the law, how it was unfair and why it should not be enacted by the legislature.

When the law came into effect we became vocal opponents of the IRP scheme because of the many failings of the law. Our office alone has been responsible for exposing most of the problems with IRP law. We are the the law office that demonstrated that the evidence provided by the Vancouver Police concerning calibration was unreliable. We showed that the Port Moody Police were following incorrect procedure in calibrating their breathalyzers. We revealed the secret RCMP audits that show massive problems with breathalyzer calibration in Kamloops, Kelowna and the central Okanagan.

Our lawyers have demonstrated time and again that roadside testing is unreliable and why ASDs should not be used to punish people. We have expanded the defences available in disputing IRPs and we have got hundreds of people back on the road. We forced the government to create a review process to dispute the referrals to the remedial programs.

The lawyers in our Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey law offices work hard to ensure that our clients are treated fairly. We feel that the IRP scheme has not been fair to the people issued these driving prohibitions, so we took on the challenge to advocate for change.

If you would like us to help you with your case, call us right away and we will get to work for you.

Call us for a free consultation and learn how we can successfully defend your IRP, ADP or drinking/driving charge.

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