Behaviours – Drinking and Driving

Penalties and costs for impaired driving

If you drive while impaired, you could be subject to stiff penalties under the Criminal Code and the Highway Safety Code.

First offence

Penalties

Highway Safety Code Criminal Code

Upon arrest
  • Immediate licence suspension: 24 hours or 90 days (depending on the situation)
  • Immediate vehicle seizure and impoundment: 30 days (depending on the situation)

Following a criminal conviction
  • Prohibition from driving for a minimum one-year period
  • Licence revocation: 1 or 3 years (depending on the situation) or longer (depending on the decision of the court)
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (depending on the situation) (website in French only)
  • Alcofrein program (depending on the situation)
  • Mandatory alcohol ignition interlock device (variable duration, depending on the situation)
  • Criminal record
  • Mandatory minimum fine of $1,000
  • Prohibition from driving for a minimum one-year period

In the case of a repeat offence within a period of 10 years, the penalties under the Highway Safety Code and the Criminal Code include:

  • Upon arrest
  • Following a criminal conviction
    • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (depending on the situation) (website in French only)
    • Prohibition from driving for a minimum two-year period 
    • Licence revocation: 3 or 5 years (depending on the situation) or longer (depending on the decision of the court) 
    • Imprisonment
    • Prohibition from registering, acquiring, renting or leasing a vehicle, or putting a vehicle into operation under your name (depending on the situation)
    • Alcohol ignition interlock device for life (possibility of applying for its removal after 10 years only in the case of a first repeat offence)(depending on the situation)

In the case of a second or subsequent repeat offence within a period of 10 years, the penalties under the Highway Safety Code and the Criminal Code include:

  • Upon arrest
    • Immediate licence suspension: 90 days
    • Immediate vehicle seizure and impoundment: 90 days 
  • Following a criminal conviction
    • Prohibition from driving for a minimum two-year period 
    • Licence revocation: 3 or 5 years (depending on the situation) or longer (depending on the decision of the court) 
    • Imprisonment 
    • Prohibition from registering, acquiring, renting or leasing a vehicle, or putting a vehicle into operation under your name 
    • Alcohol ignition interlock device for life

Costs related to a first offence

  • $1,750 minimum, in addition to non-quantifiable inconveniences and variable costs, such as:
    • criminal record
    • lawyer's fees
    • costs related to the use of an alcohol ignition interlock device (which vary depending on the duration) 
    • increased personal automobile insurance premiums 
    • other costs such as court fees, a contribution to the crime victim’s compensation plan (IVAC), etc.

See the What the Law Says section for a detailed description of costs and penalties.