A total of 250 people have joined a class action lawsuit to get compensated after being punished under B.C.'s tough drunk driving legislation.

The legal move follows a ruling made by Justice Jon Sigurdson last November which declared that a section of the province's law on drunk driving was unconstitutional. Sigurdson determined that immediate 90-day driving penalty, fines and costs issued to people who blow over .08 in roadside tests are not "demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."

Lawyer Diego A. Solimano of Merchant Law Group LLP is now representing people who he says were unjustly penalized under the law and is seeking damages for them.

"We are in the process of collecting names of people, getting together as big a group as we can, so that when the time comes to have it certified we are able to hit the ground running and go right for compensation," he told CTV News.

Solimano said there is no definite timeline, but hopes to have the class action suit make progress forward by April. He and his firm are aiming to win his clients compensation for the approximately $4,000 they paid in fines and penalties as well as for financial damages incurred by job loss.

"A lot of these people were taxi drivers or truck drivers and they can no longer work because now they have this device installed in their car which made them have to blow every time they're about to start their engine," he added.

Solimano explained part of the problem was that people were given penalties based on readings from roadside screening devices, not a breathalyzers. After blowing into them the devices gave a pass, warn or fail reading.

"Blowing into a screening device is almost like going to a hospital to have a disease diagnoses determined and just having them take a pin prick of blood instead of taking a full blood sample," he said.

More than 18,000 people were punished under B.C.'s drinking and driving laws.

Sigurdson ruled the government has until June to rewrite the legislation so that it doesn't violate charter rights.

But the constitutional arguments aren't over yet. On Jan. 20, the lawyer for Aman Preet Sivia filed a notice of appeal in the B.C. Court of Appeal. The appeal of Justice Sigurdson's decision will argue that the penalties for refusing to provide a breath sample also violate charter rights.

Government officials told CTV News that since there hasn't been a decision yet on that matter, a refusal will still trigger a 90-day driving ban and drivers will have to install an ignition interlock in their car for a year. The car will only operate if a sober driver blows into the device.

Meanwhile, more drivers who failed the roadside screening test are fighting to get their licences back.

Lawyer Paul Doroshenko says he has received one interim licence for a client who has served his 90-day ban and doesn't want to be penalized further. The licence is good until the end of June -- when the revised legislation is due. Doroshenko says 25 others are also expected to be allowed to drive again while the laws are in limbo.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mi-Jing Lee