But I wasn’t driving the car…

Authority Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, Ministry of Justice

Erik drove into town to meet a friend and then had too much to drink. He called his wife and asked her to pick him up. She wasn’t happy to receive the call and made it clear to Erik that she would drive into town to pick him up, but she wasn’t going to rush to get there. Erik’s cell phone records confirm the call was made. It was a rainy February night with the temperature hovering around zero so Erik sat in the driver’s seat with the engine running. A police officer found him asleep behind the wheel and charged him with impaired driving.

The Court found that he wasn’t in care or control of the vehicle when he was found by the police but OSMV still required him to complete the Responsible Driver Program (RDP) and install an interlock device.

We reviewed the court judgment and noted that Erik was a senior who had no prior convictions relating to drinking and driving or any other criminal record. We also noted that the case focused on whether Erik had care and control of the vehicle. The OSMV has the authority under the Motor Vehicle Act to require a person with care or control of a motor vehicle who registers above 0.05 mg/100ml on an approved screening device to participate in the RDP and install the interlock device. Although criminal court proceedings are distinct from administrative driving prohibition procedures, we were interested in the basis for requiring a person to participate in the RDP and install an interlock device when the court was not persuaded that the person in question had care or control of the motor vehicle.

The OSMV considered our questions and reviewed Erik’s file. It wrote a letter to Erik stating that he was no longer required to install an ignition interlock device, but that he was still required to complete the RDP.

We proceeded to ask questions about why Erik still had to take the RDP and we requested all information that was

considered as basis for the decision to refer Erik to the RDP. The OSMV reviewed Erik’s file again taking into consideration that he was found not to be in care or control of the vehicle at the criminal trial.

The OSMV invited Erik to make submissions and, on the basis of those submissions, it cancelled the referral to the RDP. The OSMV said that in similar circumstances in the future, it would consider submissions from the driver.

Category Driving and Transportation
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2013
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast