In Lévis a public transit bus was pulled over after a rider made a 911 call. The police arrested the driver, who had been showing erratic behaviour.
Like all provinces, Québec has rules about what amount of alcohol can be tolerated in a driver without bringing on a DUI charge. In most provinces that BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level is .08, and in a few .05.
What people don’t realize is that when the driver has a commercial licence, the level changes. In 2012 Québec adopted changes to its Highway Traffic Act which lowered the permissible BAC level for heavy truck drivers to .05.
And for bus, taxi and minibus drivers, the limit is zero. No alcohol is permissible for those entrusted with driving public transit vehicles.
Bus drivers in Québec must have a Class 2 licence, which allows one to drive a vehicle carrying 24 or more passengers. In addition to passing a driving test, there are strict requirements for a Class 2 licence
- Fewer than 4 demerit points
- No suspensions for 2 years
- Submission of a medical report
A 24-hour suspension is immediate for a DUI arrest if the driver is operating a bus. In this case, the Société de transport de Lévis suspended the driver without pay until further notice.
Driving a bus is more than a job; it is a public trust, and as such the rules are more strict; the penalties tend to be as well. Québec deserves to have their bus drivers be sober and alert at all times. Normally, they are; but on this occasion, the passengers (as well as others on the street) were fortunate that someone was alert and public-spirited enough to call 911.