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Impaired driving causes many car accidents each year in Quebec. The government therefore takes the necessary measures to punish behavior related to the use of drugs or alcohol on the road. But as a citizen, it can sometimes be difficult to make sense of all the laws governing these offences.

Find out why driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offence and severely punished by the Quebec judiciary.

Exceeding the legal limit of blood alcohol level is a criminal offence

When someone drives under the influence of alcohol, they commit a criminal offence if their blood alcohol level exceeds 80 mg per 100 ml of blood.

This alcohol level is unrelated to the signs of drunkenness that a driver can show. In the eyes of the law, once you exceed the 80 mg limit, you are charged with an offence, whether you appear fit to drive or not.

When accused of this act, the justice is entitled to withdraw your driver’s licence, ask you to pay a fine or even serve a prison sentence.

Driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs

Impaired driving refers to driving with diminished abilities caused by alcohol and/or drugs.

In this situation, it is not the amount of alcohol you have in your blood that is important, but your ability to drive. This is a distinction to take into account, since a person may very well have low blood alcohol and be unable to drive. Not to mention that stress and fatigue are factors that can aggravate your condition when under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

If you are found guilty of this Criminal Code offence, you risk having your driver’s licence revoked and serving a jail sentence, which can seriously affect your professional career.

Refusing to submit to a police officer’s tests is considered a serious offence

It is also considered a serious offence for any person to refuse to provide a police officer with a breath sample during a breathalyzer test without a valid reason. The same goes for refusing a physical coordination test requested by police, not submitting to a blood test and not following the police to provide a sample.

If you are found guilty of this offence, the same prison sentences and fines apply as for impaired driving.

Hire a lawyer when facing criminal charges

The Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants you rights when you face an arrest and allows you to privately speak to a lawyer without delay.

It is therefore important, if you face charges or an investigation is about to be opened about you, to defend yourself with the help of a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to assert your rights. Request a free consultation now by contacting the DUI Montreal Lawyer law firm