Impaired driving garners stiff penalties in Quebec. You’re responsible under both the Canadian Criminal Code, which applies to every province, and Quebec’s own Highway Safety Code.
You can receive a charge under the Criminal Code for Quebec impaired driving under the following conditions:
- A police officer stops you, believes you to be impaired, and arrests you after field sobriety tests
- After a breathalyzer test to confirm, you’re found to be over the legal blood alcohol limit of .08 or 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood
- You refuse to blow into a breathalyzer when asked
- You are in care and control of a vehicle while impaired, even if the vehicle isn’t moving
When you receive an impaired driving charge in Quebec and it’s your first offense, you’ll receive an immediate ninety driver’s license suspension. For your second offense you’ll receive a ninety-day driver’s license suspension, and a ninety-day vehicle impoundment.
While the Criminal Code states under what conditions you can be charged, the Highway Safety Code sets the penalties for impaired driving in Quebec. If you’re a first time offender who made the mistake of drinking and driving, you were arrested with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .09 to .15, and you’re convicted in court, you’ll receive the following penalties:
- $1000 fine
- One year driver’s license suspension
- Required attendance at an alcohol and drug abuse assessment
In Quebec what you blow on a breathalyzer will matter when you’re in court for impaired driving. If you blew over .16 on a breathalyzer and you’re a first offender you’ll receive $1,000 in fines, a three driver’s license suspension, and you’ll need an ignition interlock for three years.
Even a first Quebec impaired driving offense is significant enough that it will change your life. Thankfully it’s an easy charge to avoid; all you have to do is drive sober and call a designated driver if you’ve been drinking.