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Unlike cannabis, alcohol has been legally sold in a regulated environment for several decades. At the same time, the Highway Safety Code provides for administrative and criminal measures and penalties for impaired driving. In this regard, do you know what the legal alcohol limit is?

Legal alcohol limit and the Criminal Code: An overview

Impaired driving under the influence of alcohol is severely punished under the Criminal Code and the Highway Safety Code. The Criminal Code, which is a set of laws that apply to all provinces and territories in Canada, establishes clear rules and penalties on this subject.

If a police officer suspects that you have consumed alcohol, he can ask you to blow into an approved screening device. He can also subject you to roadside physical coordination tests at any time, whether following a roadside check or at a police roadblock.

Depending on the result, and if your blood alcohol level is 80 mg or more per 100 ml of blood – the famous 0.08 – you could be charged under the Criminal Code. Be aware that refusing to submit to tests ordered by a police officer is a criminal offence that can result in more severe penalties.

Impaired driving: not just behind the wheel

The law prohibits more than just impaired driving. It also criminalizes the care and control of a vehicle while intoxicated. This means that you can be arrested for drinking and driving even if your vehicle is stationary while you are in the driver’s seat. The same applies if you are asleep in your vehicle when you have the possibility of starting it or if you are near it, if only to put something inside it.

The consequences of a drinking and driving arrest

If your blood alcohol level is equal to or greater than 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, and this is your first arrest for drinking and driving, your licence can be suspended for 90 days, depending on the situation. Your vehicle may also be seized and impounded for 30 days, also depending on the situation. If you are convicted of impaired driving, your licence could be revoked for 1 to 3 years or more, depending on the court’s decision. In addition, you will be required to undergo a program to assess and reduce the risk of driving while impaired and will be required to add an ignition interlock device to your vehicle for a specified period of time.

How can you defend yourself if you exceed the legal alcohol limit?

When it comes to alcohol, it is true that moderation tastes better. Similarly, there is no reason to drink and drive. Therefore, if you know you are going to drink alcohol, do not drive. Forget your car and choose an alternative means of transportation instead.

For more information, or if you are facing impaired driving charges, contact DUI Montreal Lawyer. Our criminal lawyers will be happy to defend you.