Behaviours – Drugs and Medication

Penalties and Costs for Impaired Driving

If you drive while impaired, you could be subject to stiff penalties under the Highway Safety Code and the Criminal 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 24 hours
  • 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 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

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

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 court fees, a contribution to the crime victim's compensation plan (IVAC), etc.
    • costs related to the use of an alcohol ignition interlock device, if applicable ($50.00 to install the device, plus a $61.00 monthly rental fee)

Penalties for a 2nd offence

  • Immediate licence suspension for 24 hours
  • Vehicle seizure and impoundment for 90 days
  • Prison: 30 days (longer if the accident caused injury or death)
  • 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 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 3 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 (depending on the situation)
  • 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 a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

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

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 5 years
  • Prohibition from registering, acquiring, renting or leasing a vehicle or putting a vehicle into operation under your name
  • 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 3 years after obtaining a new licence or for life, depending on the situation

After a conviction – Under the Criminal Code

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

Costs related to 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 court fees, or a contribution to the crime victim's compensation plan (IVAC), etc.
    • costs related to the use of an alcohol ignition interlock device, if applicable ($50.00 to install the device, plus a $61.00 monthly rental fee)

Penalties for a 3rd offence

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 3 years
  • Prison: 120 days (longer if the accident caused injury or death)

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 5 years
  • Prohibition from registering, acquiring, renting or leasing a vehicle, or putting a vehicle into operation under your name
  • 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: 120 days (longer if the accident caused injury or death)

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 annual cost of $732), in addition to non-quantifiable inconveniences and variable costs, such as:
    • criminal record
    • lawyer's fees
    • increased automobile insurance premiums
    • other costs such as court fees, a contribution to the crime victim's compensation plan (IVAC), etc.