Reacquiring a Licence

My case has not yet gone to trial

You were arrested for impaired driving

If you fail the physical coordination tests, your licence is suspended for 24 hours. After this suspension period, your licence becomes valid once again.

If your blood alcohol concentration was above 80 mg but did not exceed 160 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood

Your licence is suspended for 90 days. After this suspension period, your licence becomes valid once again.

If your blood alcohol concentration was above 160 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood or if you refused to obey the order of a peace officer

Your licence is suspended for 90 days and the vehicle you are driving is seized and impounded for 30 days. You must undergo the program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving.

If you want to contest your licence suspension

In certain specific cases, you may contest the decision.

Reacquiring a licence that was suspended for a blood alcohol concentration above 160 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood

Step 1 – Receiving a letter from the SAAQ requiring that you undergo an assessment

This letter notifies you that you must undergo the program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving.

Step 2 – Undergoing a risk assessment

To undergo the assessment, you must register and pay the required fees to our partner in charge of carrying out such assessments.

The risk assessment takes a few hours to complete and is carried out according to a standardized protocol by a certified assessment professional. The assessment is used to determine whether your alcohol consumption is incompatible with the safe operation of a road vehicle.

Once the assessment has been completed, the assessment professional writes a final report indicating whether or not you are capable of dissociating alcohol from driving a vehicle. You will receive a copy of this report, which will also be sent to us so that we may render a decision.

Step 3 – Decision by the SAAQ

We base our decision on the conclusions of the assessment report, your driving record and your state of health. You will receive our decision by mail.

Lifting the licence suspension

If the report is favourable, we may lift the suspension of your licence after the 90-day penalty period.

Maintaining the licence suspension

If the report indicates that you present a risk of a repeat offence, we may maintain the suspension and require you to undergo a comprehensive assessment.

The comprehensive assessment—which takes 7 to 9 months to complete—involves the implementation of a supervision plan. You must meet the goals set with the assessment professional and attend 3 mandatory meetings.

Useful information

Adding Condition I to your licence

During your assessment, you may apply to have Condition I added to your licence, which would allow you to drive only vehicles equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.. Go to our section entitled Restricted Licence Related to a Conviction for Alcohol-Impaired Driving for the procedure to follow.

Step 4 – New decision by the SAAQ at the end of the comprehensive assessment

At the end of the assessment, the assessment professional writes a final report indicating whether or not you are capable of dissociating your alcohol consumption from the safe operation of a road vehicle. You will receive a copy of this report, which will also be sent to us so that we may render a decision.

We base our decision on the conclusions of the assessment report, your driving record and your state of health. You will receive our decision by mail.

If the suspension is lifted

You may drive until your court appearance.

If the licence suspension is maintained

You will be required to undergo another comprehensive assessment by a certified assessment professional.

Criminal Code and Highway Safety Code: 2 independent processes

The penalties and conditions to reacquire a driver’s licence set forth in the Highway Safety Code are independent from those set forth in the Criminal Code. This means that, even if you are not prosecuted under the Criminal Code or a verdict of not guilty is rendered at your trial, your licence suspension and the obligation to undergo an assessment will follow their due course by virtue of the Highway Safety Code.