Driving Prohibition Orders

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Introduction

A person convicted of a motor vehicle offence will be subject to a mandatory driving prohibition under s. 259. The duration will be determined by a number of factors including the seriousness of the offence and the existence of any prior convictions.

The minimum prohibition duration is determined by the number of prior offences. Where there are prior convictions, the Crown must give notice in compliance with s. 727 in order to engage the increased penalty.[1]

Mandatory order of prohibition
259. (1) When an offender is convicted of an offence committed under section 253 or 254 or this section or discharged under section 730 of an offence committed under section 253 and, at the time the offence was committed or, in the case of an offence committed under section 254, within the three hours preceding that time, was operating or had the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft or of railway equipment or was assisting in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment, the court that sentences the offender shall, in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed for that offence, make an order prohibiting the offender from operating a motor vehicle on any street, road, highway or other public place, or from operating a vessel or an aircraft or railway equipment, as the case may be,

(a) for a first offence, during a period of not more than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than one year;
(b) for a second offence, during a period of not more than five years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment, and not less than two years; and
(c) for each subsequent offence, during a period of not less than three years plus any period to which the offender is sentenced to imprisonment.

...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 259; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F), c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 62; 1995, c. 22, ss. 10, 18; 1997, c. 18, s. 11; 1999, c. 32, s. 5(Preamble); 2000, c. 2, s. 2; 2001, c. 37, s. 1; 2006, c. 14, s. 3; 2008, c. 6, s. 26, c. 18, s. 8.


CCC

The phrase "or other public place" is found under section 259 (1) refers to a place "upon which motor vehicles can be driven ... to which a significant segment of the public has access as of right and where it can be reasonably anticipated that the motor vehicle Will come into close proximity to pedestrians or other motor vehicles."[2]

  1. See Notice of Increased Penalty for details
  2. R v Maxwell, 2011 NWTTC 4 (CanLII)

Street, Road, Highway or Other Public Place

See also: Criminal Code and Related Definitions

The phrase "any street, road, highway, or other public place" impliedly refers to places that have "a significant segment of the public has access as of right".[1]

Whether something is a "public road" is a question of fact.[2] It is typically a "road to which the public generally have access and not one that has been constructed for the use and benefit of a special group".[3]

s. 2
...
"highway" means a road to which the public has the right of access, and includes bridges over which or tunnels through which a road passes;
...


Railway Equipment

2
...
"railway equipment" means

(a) any machine that is constructed for movement exclusively on lines of railway, whether or not the machine is capable of independent motion, or
(b) any vehicle that is constructed for movement both on and off lines of railway while the adaptations of that vehicle for movement on lines of railway are in use;


  1. R v Maxwell, 2011 NWTTC 4 (CanLII)
  2. R v McNab, 2014 SKPC 180 (CanLII) at para 15
  3. McNab at para 15
    R v Fiddler, 2004 SKQB 113 (CanLII) at para 23

Duration

Section 259 requires a mandatory minimum Order of prohibition from driving for offences under s.253, 254 or 259. The length is as follows:

  • First offence: 1 to 3 years (s.259(1)(a))
  • Second offence: 2 to 5 years (s. 259(1)(b))
  • All subsequent offences: 3 years or more (s. 259(1)(c))

Interlock program is available after:

  • First offence: 3 months from sentence (s.259(1.2)(a)(i))
  • Second offence: 6 months from sentence (s.259(1.2)(a)(ii))
  • All subsequent offences: 12 months from sentence (s.259(1.2)(a)(iii))
  • Or any later time as set by the judge (s.259(1.2)(b))

Section 259(2) allows a discretionary order of prohibition from driving for offences under s. 220, 221, 236, 249, 249.1, 250, 251 or 252 or 255(2) to (3.2). The length is as follows:

  • Offences with max of life sentence or actual life sentence: any duration (s. 259(2)(a), (a1))
  • Offences with max of 10 years: up to 5 years (s.259(2)(b))
  • Any other offences: up to 3 years (s. 259(2)(c))

Street racing mandatory prohibitions in addition to other mandatory orders:

  • First offence: 1 to 3 years (s. 259(3.1)(a))
  • Second offence: 2 to 5 years (s. 259(3.1)(b))
  • Any subsequent offences: 3 years or more (s. 259(3.1)(c))

Bodily harm offences under s. 249.3 or 249.4(3), the mandatory orders are as follows:

  • First Offence: 1 to 10 years
  • Second Offence: 2 to 10 years
  • Any subsequent offences: 3 years or more

Death offences under s. 249.2 or 249.4(4), the mandatory orders are as follows:

  • s.249.2 Offences: 1 year or more
  • s. 249.4(4) offences: 1 to 10 years
  • Any second conviction is life (s. 259(3.4))

The breath readings can be used to permit a greater duration. Section 255.1 treats readings over 160mg/ml as "aggravating circumstances" which can translate to a greater duration.[1]

When determining duration the Court may consider and subtract periods of driving prohibition that were imposed through release conditions.[2]

  1. e.g. R v Pavlovsky, 2013 ONSC 6800 (CanLII) at paras 28 to 31
  2. R. v Lacasse, [2015] 3 SCR 1089, 2015 SCC 64 (CanLII) at paras 111 to 114

Consecutive vs Concurrent

See also: Concurrent and Consecutive Sentences

On Oct 1, 2008, s. 259(2.1) was added permitting discretionary orders for consecutive driving prohibitions:

259
...
Consecutive prohibition periods
(2.1) The court may, when it makes an order under this section prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment, as the case may be, order that the time served under that order be served consecutively to the time served under any other order made under this section that prohibits the operation of the same means of transport and that is in force.
...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 259; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F), c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 62; 1995, c. 22, ss. 10, 18; 1997, c. 18, s. 11; 1999, c. 32, s. 5(Preamble); 2000, c. 2, s. 2; 2001, c. 37, s. 1; 2006, c. 14, s. 3; 2008, c. 6, s. 26, c. 18, s. 8.


CCC

Prior to Oct 1, 2008, a driving prohibition cannot be ordered to be consecutive to another driving prohibition that is already in force. The prohibition must begin at the day the order is made.[1] Any offence that occurs prior to Oct 1, 2008, must have concurrent driving prohibitions.[2]

  1. R v Neuberger, 1997 CanLII 2443 (BC CA), (1997), 118 CCC 348
  2. Neuberger

Alcohol Interlock Program

259
...
Alcohol ignition interlock device program
(1.1) If the offender is registered in an alcohol ignition interlock device program established under the law of the province in which the offender resides and complies with the conditions of the program, the offender may, subject to subsection (1.2), operate a motor vehicle equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device during the prohibition period, unless the court orders otherwise.
Minimum absolute prohibition period
(1.2) An offender who is registered in a program referred to in subsection (1.1) may not operate a motor vehicle equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device until

(a) the expiry of a period of
(i) for a first offence, 3 months after the day on which sentence is imposed,
(ii) for a second offence, 6 months after the day on which sentence is imposed, and
(iii) for each subsequent offence, 12 months after the day on which sentence is imposed; or
(b) the expiry of any period that may be fixed by order of the court that is greater than a period referred to in paragraph (a).

...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 259; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F), c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 62; 1995, c. 22, ss. 10, 18; 1997, c. 18, s. 11; 1999, c. 32, s. 5(Preamble); 2000, c. 2, s. 2; 2001, c. 37, s. 1; 2006, c. 14, s. 3; 2008, c. 6, s. 26, c. 18, s. 8.


CCC


Stay of Driving Prohibition Order While on Appeal

Stay of order pending appeal
261 (1) Subject to subsection (1.1), if an appeal is taken against a conviction or discharge under section 730 for an offence committed under any of sections 220, 221, 236, 249 to 255 and 259, a judge of the court being appealed to may direct that any prohibition order under section 259 arising out of the conviction or discharge shall, on any conditions that the judge or court imposes, be stayed pending the final disposition of the appeal or until otherwise ordered by that court.
Appeals to Supreme Court of Canada
(1.1) In the case of an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, the direction referred to in subsection (1) may be made only by a judge of the court being appealed from and not by a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Effect of conditions
(2) If conditions are imposed under a direction made under subsection (1) or (1.1) that a prohibition order be stayed, the direction shall not operate to decrease the period of prohibition provided in the order.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 261; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F); 1994, c. 44, ss. 15, 103; 1995, c. 22, s. 10; 1997, c. 18, ss. 12, 141; 2006, c. 14, s. 5; 2008, c. 6, s. 27.


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See Also