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As you may recall, being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offence punishable by an automatic one-year driver’s licence suspension and a minimum fine of $1,000. However, this does not mean that the driver in question will automatically get his or her licence back after this period.

In this article, we go over process that applies to drivers who want to get their driver’s licence back after an impaired driving conviction.

Ability to obtain a restricted driver’s licence

Once the sentence for impaired driving has been handed down and guilt has been proven, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) can revoke a driver’s licence. A driving prohibition for a specified period of time depending on the degree of the offence will also be enforced.

However, during this period of driving prohibition, it is still possible to obtain a restricted licence, depending on the case. This type of licence authorizes a person to drive, provided that the car used is equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock device. To start the vehicle, simply blow into the electronic device and if it detects the presence of alcohol in the body, the engine will not start.

If you are convicted of drinking and driving for the first time, you can obtain an interlock device after 3 months following the judgment, provided you submit to a brief evaluation by the SAAQ to obtain a restricted licence. However, if this is not your first drinking and driving offence, the assessment you will have to pass will be more extensive.

Proving that there will be no recidivism for alcohol-impaired driving to obtain a new licence

To obtain a restricted or new licence after the prohibition period, you will need to take the SAAQ exam to assess the risk of alcohol recidivism behind the driver’s wheel.

This review is part of the impaired driving risk assessment and reduction program (PERRCCA). It includes 200 questions about alcohol consumption habits, your mental health, your social status and your personality in general.

The mandatory Alcofrein program

For those who pass the SAAQ exam, it will then be necessary to take the Alcofrein program, which raises drivers’ awareness of the harmful consequences of impaired driving before they can obtain the new licence.

In the event that the candidate fails the exam, he or she will be required to follow a 6-9 month supervision plan. He will also be required to equip his car with an alcohol ignition interlock device for a period of 1 year.

For drivers who have been arrested with a blood alcohol level of more than 160 mg, the device will have to be installed for a period of two years.

Call a criminal lawyer for impaired driving offences and get your driver’s license back

If you are facing charges for impaired driving or an investigation is about to be launched, it is important to defend yourself with the help of a criminal offence lawyer.

Do not hesitate to request a free consultation now by contacting the DUI Criminal Lawyer law firm.