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.

  • Penalties may change depending on the situation.
  • The reference period for calculating repeat offences under the Highway Safety Code is 10 years.
  • The absence of a minimum sentence does not mean that a judge cannot order one, such as a fine for a second offence.

Penalties for a 1st offence

  • Immediate licence suspension for 90 days
  • Minimum fine: $1,000
  • Criminal record
  • Licence revocation for 1 or 3 years
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only)
  • Alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: depending on the situation

If your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08 but below 0.16

Upon arrest

  • Immediate licence suspension for 90 days

After a conviction – Under the Highway Safety Code

  • Driver's licence revocation and prohibition from obtaining a new licence for 1 year
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only):
    • if the summary assessment is favourable: mandatory Alcofrein program
    • if the summary assessment is unfavourable:
      • supervision plan: 6 to 9 months
      • alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: mandatory for 1 year after you obtain a new licence

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

  • Criminal record
  • Driving prohibition for 1 year
  • Minimum fine: $1,000
  • If the accident caused injury or death: prison

If your blood alcohol concentration is equal to or greater than 0.16, or if you refuse to obey the orders of a peace officer

Upon arrest

After a conviction – Under the Highway Safety Code

  • Driver's licence revocation and prohibition from obtaining a new licence for 3 years
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only)
  • Alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: mandatory for 2 years after you obtain a new licence

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

  • Criminal record
  • Driving prohibition for 1 year
  • Minimum fine: $1,000
  • If the accident caused injury or death: prison

If your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs

Upon arrest

  • Immediate licence suspension for 24 hours (following physical coordination tests)

After a conviction – Under the Highway Safety Code

  • Driver's licence revocation and prohibition from obtaining a new licence for 1 year
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only):
    • if the summary assessment is favourable: mandatory Alcofrein program
    • if the summary assessment is unfavourable:
      • supervision plan (6 to 9 months)
      • alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: mandatory for 1 year after you obtain a new licence

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

  • Criminal record
  • Driving prohibition for 1 year
  • Minimum fine: $1,000
  • If the accident caused injury or death: prison

Costs Related to a 1st Offence

  • $1,750 minimum, in addition to non-quantifiable inconveniences and variable costs, such as:
    • criminal record
    • lawyer's fees
    • increased automobile insurance premiums
    • other costs such as registry fees or a contribution to the crime victim's compensation plan (IVAC), etc.

Penalties for a 2nd Offence

  • Immediate licence suspension for 90 days
  • Vehicle seizure and impoundment for 90 days
  • Prison: 30 days
  • Driver's licence revocation for 3 to 5 years
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only)
  • Alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: depending on the situation

If your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08 but below 0.16

Upon arrest

  • Immediate licence suspension for 90 days
  • Vehicle seizure and impoundment for 90 days
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving

After a conviction – Under the Highway Safety Code

  • Driver's licence revocation and prohibition from obtaining a new licence for 3 years
  • Prohibition from registering, acquiring, renting or leasing a vehicle, or putting a vehicle into operation under your name (depending on the situation)
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only)
  • Alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: mandatory for 2 years after you obtain a new licence

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

  • Criminal record
  • Possible fine
  • Driving prohibition for 2 years
  • Prison: minimum 30-day term (longer if the accident caused injury or death)

If your blood alcohol concentration is equal to or greater than 0.16, or if you refuse to obey the orders of a peace officer

Upon arrest

  • Immediate licence suspension for 90 days (an additional suspension period is possible)
  • Vehicle seizure and impoundment for 90 days
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only)

After a conviction – Under the Highway Safety Code

  • Driver's licence revocation and prohibition from obtaining a new licence for 5 years
  • Prohibition from registering, acquiring, renting or leasing a vehicle, or putting a vehicle into operation under your name (depending on the situation)
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only)
  • Mandatory alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.:
    • for 3 years after you obtain a new licence
    • for life if it is your 2nd conviction for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more, or if you refused to blow into the breathalyzer

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

  • Criminal record
  • Possible fine
  • Driving prohibition for 2 years
  • Prison: minimum 30-day term (longer if the accident caused injury or death)

If your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs

Upon arrest

  • Immediate licence suspension for 24 hours (following physical coordination tests)

After a conviction – Under the Highway Safety Code

  • Driver's licence revocation and prohibition from obtaining a new licence for 1 year
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only):
    • if the summary assessment is favourable: mandatory Alcofrein program
    • if the summary assessment is unfavourable:
      • supervision plan (6 to 9 months)
      • alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: mandatory for 1 year after you obtain a new licence

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

  • Criminal record
  • Possible fine
  • Driving prohibition for 1 year
  • If the accident caused injury or death: prison

Costs for a 2nd Offence

  • $5,700 minimum, in addition to non-quantifiable inconveniences and variable costs, such as:
    • criminal record
    • lawyer's fees
    • increased automobile insurance premiums
    • other costs such as registry fees or a contribution to the crime victim's compensation plan (IVAC), etc.

Penalties for a 3rd Offence

If your blood alcohol concentration is greater than 0.08, or if you refuse to obey the order of a peace officer

Upon arrest

After a conviction – Under the Highway Safety Code

  • Driver's licence revocation and prohibition from obtaining a new licence for 5 years
  • Prohibition from registering, acquiring, renting or leasing a vehicle, or putting a vehicle into operation under your name (depending on the situation)
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only)
  • Alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: mandatory for life

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

  • Criminal record
  • Possible fine
  • Driving prohibition for 3 years
  • Prison: minimum 120-day term (longer if the accident caused injury or death)

If your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs

Upon arrest

  • Immediate licence suspension for 24 hours (following physical coordination tests)

After a conviction – Under the Highway Safety Code

  • Driver's licence revocation and prohibition from obtaining a new licence for 5 years
  • Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (website in French only)
  • Prohibition from registering, acquiring, renting or leasing a vehicle, or putting a vehicle into operation under your name
  • Alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body.: mandatory for life

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

  • Criminal record
  • Possible fine
  • Driving prohibition for 1 year
  • If the accident caused injury or death: prison

Costs Related to a 3rd Offence

  • $3,200 minimum + alcohol ignition interlock deviceA device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects the presence of alcohol in the driver’s body. for life (minimum $1,360 + $100/month), in addition to non-quantifiable inconveniences and variable costs, such as:
    • criminal record
    • lawyer's fees
    • increased automobile insurance premiums
    • other costs such as registry fees or a contribution to the crime victim's compensation plan (IVAC), etc.