Appeal of the 90 Day Administrative Driver’s Licence Suspension

Introduction

A driver’s licence may be suspended for 90 days under the Highway Traffic Act for a driver who is impaired while operating a motor vehicle or because the driver refused or failed to comply with a demand made under Section 254 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

This 90 day suspension can be appealed on two grounds ONLY:

  • The suspended driver is not the same person to whom a demand was made; or
  • The driver failed or refused to comply with a demand because they were unable to do so for medical reasons.

In an appeal of an administrative driver’s licence suspension, it is the driver’s responsibility to present evidence to the Registrar that will prove their case on a balance of probabilities. This means that the Registrar must be satisfied that it is more than likely that the facts provided are true.

Appeal Process

A person who wishes to appeal must submit their application to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of the offence date. The applicant has the option to have their appeal heard in writing or orally. The application must indicate whether the applicant is requesting an oral or written appeal.

Following submission of the application the Registrar will provide a written confirmation of receipt of the appeal, which will specify the deadline for submitting any documents to support the appeal. If the appeal is to be heard orally, information regarding the time, date, and location of the appeal will also be included in this correspondence.

An appeal will be heard within 30 days after the deadline for submitting documents and evidence. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles has up to 15 business days after the appeal is heard to make a decision based on the evidence provided.

Medical Evidence

A driver who appeals based on medical reasons must provide evidence to prove that a valid medical reason caused the driver’s refusal or failure to comply with a demand to provide a sample. This must include a medical report which is signed by a medical practitioner.

The medical report must do more than establish that the driver has a medical condition, or had a medical condition at the time of the demand. The medical report must link the driver’s refusal or inability to provide a sample, or respond to a demand, with the identified medical condition.

The information provided in the report must include:

  • Medical practitioner’s name, telephone number, and address;
  • Driver’s/patient’s name, date of birth, and address;
  • Statement that the medical practitioner is aware that the report may be used in support of the patient’s appeal of the administrative suspension of their driver’s licence;
  • How long the medical practitioner has been caring for the driver as a patient;
  • Date of the most recent examination that supports the medical practitioner’s findings;
  • If the medical report is completed by a medical doctor, whether the doctor is the driver’s family physician;
  • Details of the condition that prevented the driver from providing a sample or complying with a demand. This must include its diagnosis and history, the results of any tests, such as pulmonary function tests, medication prescribed, other laboratory tests and reports from specialists; and
  • Medical practitioner’s signature.