Behaviours – Drinking and Driving

Did You Know?

Drinking and driving is an issue that affects everyone, whether male or female, young or old. It is one of the leading causes of accidents on Québec roads.

Drinking and driving: numbers to think about

Each year on average, accidents related to alcohol-impaired driving result in:

  • 160 deaths
  • 370 seriously injured victims
  • 1,900 slightly injured victims

In 2013

  • 41% of drivers who were killed on the road had consumed alcohol. The majority of them had more than 150 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (concentration of 0.15) in their system.

From 2009 to 2013

  • 36% of deceased drivers had a blood alcohol concentration above 80 mg per 100 ml of blood (0.08).

It is estimated that compensating victims of drunk driving costs 90 million dollars each year.

Drinking and refusing to obey the orders of a peace officer: a very serious offence

Refusing to blow into a breathalyzer or perform physical coordination tests automatically results in stiffer penalties. These penalties are the same as those for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 160 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (0.16), i.e. more than twice the legal limit!

Useful information

Care or control of a vehicle

The law not only prohibits impaired driving, but also having the care or control of a vehicle while impaired. Here are some situations that can have the same consequences as impaired driving:

  • sitting in the driver’s seat, even if the vehicle is stopped or broken down
  • being in the vehicle (even asleep on the back seat) and having the possibility of starting the engine
  • being near the vehicle, for example to brush snow off the car or put things in the trunk

Responsibility with respect to drinking and driving is everyone's business

Is a friend in no condition to drive?

Insist that your friend sleep over. Is he or she stubbornly refusing? Express your disagreement strongly and support those who speak up. Persuasion is more effective as a group.

As a passenger, you have a say

Never get in a vehicle with a driver who has had alcohol if you suspect that he or she is impaired.

At the same time, talk him or her out of driving and suggest an alternative, such as public transit, a taxi or a drive-home service.