The Questionable Basis For Possible ICBC Denial of Coverage

The Insurance Commission of British Columbia (ICBC) cannot afford to cover the damages caused by a drink driver. For that reason, it will deny coverage to any driver that has been suspected of driving and drinking.

Events that might precede such a denial:

There might have been some clue in the driver’s vehicle that suggested that the person sitting behind the steering wheel could have been under the influence of alcohol. Even in the absence of proof, discovery of that clue could be used by ICBC as a reason for denying coverage.

A charge from police would not be necessary. In fact, if a charge had been made and then dismissed, ICBC could still decline to offer coverage.

The role of the roadside suspension

Any police officer has the right to carry out a roadside suspension. That may mean having the driver pull over, and then conducting a breathalyzer screening test. If the result is 0.05, ICBC can refuse to cover the tested driver. True, a reading of 0.05 is below the legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol level. Still, ICBC does not have to concern itself with that fact. I can decide on the level that it will view as acceptable.

Moreover, a police officer that has reason to think that a motorist might be driving while under alcohol’s influence, and so asks the same motorist to pull over, does not have to conduct a screening test using a breathalyzer. Still, that same officer does report that he or she has made a roadside suspension.

The report would give the license number of the vehicle that was pulled over, as well as the name of the driver. ICBC could use that information as grounds for denying coverage of an accident, if the same motorist were in an accident, after being pulled over.

A Canadian driver might decide to dispense with disclosing facts about such a suspension, since case law states that the results of a breathalyzer test is not sufficient evidence for charging someone with driving under the influence. Yet that denial would give ICBC yet another reason for denying coverage of an accident claim.

All those facts point-up the reason that ICBC’s desire the save money has pushed it to adapt a questionable method for judging the extent to which any claim deserves coverage. It does have a right to deny coverage to someone that has been found guilty of that charge, according to the precepts of the law. Still, that does not mean that the Commission can make up rules that appear to ignore the law. Because it has chosen to do, Personal Injury Lawyer in Langley must note the questionable basis for ICBC’s decision.