New Management of Québec’s Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device Program

Following a call for tenders, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) has signed a new contract with Smart Start Canada ULC (Smart Start) for management of Québec’s alcohol ignition interlock device program.

Do I have to have my alcohol ignition interlock device replaced?
Only participants who will continue to require an alcohol ignition interlock device after November 30, 2019 will have to make the transition to the new program manager.

This transition will require that the device be removed by Alcohol Countermeasure Systems (ACS), with the assistance of GIS or Lebeau Vitres d’autos, and that a new alcohol ignition interlock device be installed by Smart Start.

How do I know whether I need to make this transition?
The SAAQ will send information letters to all program participants, whether or not they are required to make the transition.

In the coming months, program participants who are required to make the transition will receive a letter from Smart Start describing the steps they must take to change program managers and have a new alcohol ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

Program participants who are not required to make the transition will be able to continue to use the services of ACS.

When will the transition occur?
The letter from Smart Start will include a date for the transition. However, if the scheduled date does not suit you, you can come to an agreement with the two program managers to make the transition at another point prior to November 30, 2019.

What are the costs of the transition?
The installation of a new device is free of charge for program participants making the transition who wish to remain in the program, for the entire duration of the transition.

Can I drive my vehicle once the device has been removed?
At all times, program participants are legally required to only drive vehicles equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device approved by the SAAQ. This means that once the old device is removed from their vehicle, they must either have someone else drive the vehicle for them, or, if the vehicle is prohibited from being put into operation, have the vehicle towed. This requirement applies until the new alcohol ignition interlock device has been installed by Smart Start.

During the transition period, Smart Start will offer courtesy transportation to program participants making the transition so they can have the new device installed. Smart Start will also offer a free towing service to program participants whose vehicles are prohibited from being put into operation.