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Drinking and Driving Laws in Quebec

A Brief Overview of Impaired Driving Measures in the Quebec Highway Safety Code

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Drinking and driving laws in the province of Quebec are tougher than ever since new measures in the Quebec Highway Safety Code -- in effect since December 7, 2008 -- have been enforced. Below sums up what first time offenders in Montreal can expect if caught driving under the influence of alcohol (or medication or drugs), in other words, exceeding the blood alcohol limit allowed in Quebec.

License Suspension and Car Seizure
If pulled over by the police, you'll have your driving privileges immediately suspended and/or have your car seized for 30 to 90 days or more, even with no prior impaired driving offenses, if:

  • you are a new driver (i.e., in possession of a learner's permit or a probationary license) and have any alcohol in your blood
  • you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test
  • you exceed the maximum blood alcohol content allowed by law
Pay Up: The Fees and the Fines
And following a first conviction of impaired driving, you can expect to pay:
  • a minimum fine of $600
  • $150 for a mandatory Alcofrein session
  • $220 for a summary assessment of your drinking habits
  • $547 for a more complete assessment if the summary assessment suggests your drinking habits could interfere with your ability to operate a motor vehicle
  • $135 for installation of an alcohol interlock device plus $95/month for rental fees, if applicable
  • up to $400 to obtain a new driver's license, if applicable
  • $1,500 to $3,000 fine for driving during a suspension period, if applicable
  • costs related to vehicle seizure, if applicable
  • other costs and fees, if applicable
And that was just for getting caught once! To find out what happens if you get caught twice or more, consult the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec website for all the sordid and expensive details.

Note: All fines, fees and details above may be subject to change without notice.

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