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, from 2015 to 2019, due to alcohol:

  • 85 people died (24%);
  • 220 people were seriously injured (15%).

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

Refusing or failing to blow into a breathalyzer or perform physical coordination tests automatically results in stiffer penalties. For example, the penalties under the Highway Safety Code 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!

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

The police officer will assess whether it was possible for the person to drive the vehicle and whether he or she intended to drive.

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 been drinking 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, a rideshare service, or a drive-home service.

Last update: June  2, 2022