DRUNK drivers who were nabbed by police in the early days of the province's tough new drunk driving laws won't have to install special interlock devices on their cars or pay for driver education programs.
B.C.'s Justice Minister Shirley Bond said most drivers issued those administrative penalties in the early days of the program won't be asked to follow through on them.
About 440 people who already paid for a driver education program will get refunds.
The move comes after the superintendent of motor vehicles reviewed the driving records of 1,137 people province-wide, who were handed roadside driving bans and told to sign up for the programs shortly before the courts struck down the original law as unconstitutional.
In November 2011, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jon Sigurdson ruled B.C.'s
harshest administrative penalties for drunk drivers violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because they allowed police to impose criminal-style penalties without giving drivers a chance to appeal.
After the law was struck down, a number of North Shore drivers - including a commercial truck driver and West Vancouver real estate agent - challenged the penalties they'd been handed.
The government subsequently revamped the drunk driving laws, adding more leeway for appeal.
Under the revised laws, drivers who fail a roadside test can ask for a second test on a second screening device. The lowest reading is the one recorded. Police must also provide statements about the reliability of the roadside devices.
Bond said none of the drunk drivers are getting off the hook on the rest of their penalty, which included a three-month driving ban and various fines and impoundment costs.