In Québec, you could be arrested and convicted if:

1. You are over the legal limit of 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (0.08)

Blood-alcohol concentration is measured by milligrams of alcohol in the bloodstream using a calibrated screening device, also called a breath alcohol detector or breathalyzer.

2. Your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs

You can be arrested even if your blood alcohol concentration is not over 0.08 or if you ingested drugs or medication.

3. You refuse to obey the orders of a peace officer

Refusing to breathe into an alcohol-screening device or performing physical coordination tests automatically results in stiffer penalties.

Having care and control – What is that?

If your faculties are impaired by alcohol or drugs, the law doesn't just prohibit you from driving a vehicle, but also from having care or control of a vehicle. Here are some examples of acts that may result in the same consequences as driving while impaired:

  • Being seated in the driver's seat, even if the vehicle is stopped.
  • Being in one's car (even sleeping in the back seat) and having the possibility of starting the vehicle.
  • Being close to one's vehicle (e.g. removing snow, putting things in the trunk or listening to the radio).