The consequences of an impaired driving charge
Taking the wheel despite your faculties being impaired by alcohol, drugs, or even intense fatigue is a behavior that can put your safety and that of others at risk. For this reason, in Quebec, the Criminal Code as well as the Highway Safety Code provide for severe penalties for such offences.
Find out the consequences to which you expose yourself if you ever decide to drive your vehicle while impaired.
Impaired driving: the different laws in force in Quebec and Canada
The Canadian Criminal Code
In Canada, the Criminal Code applies in all provinces and territories. It is a federal law that determines the penalties for criminal acts that are committed within the country’s borders.
Under this law, anyone who drives or has charge of a motor vehicle, whether in motion or not, commits an offense if his ability to drive is impaired by the influence of alcohol or drug or if his blood alcohol level exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred milliliters of blood. Obviously, a driver who refuses to cooperate with law enforcement, to submit to a testing physical coordination or blowing into the breathalyzer is also likely to face even more serious charges under the Criminal Code.
The Highway Safety Code
The Highway Safety Code is a law that applies only in the province of Quebec. The measures and penalties it provides for a person convicted of impaired driving are mainly administrative.
The different penalties applied in the case of an arrest for impaired driving
As soon as a person is arrested for impaired driving or drunk driving, they will have their driver’s license suspended immediately for 90 days. His vehicle will also be seized immediately.
In the event of a guilty verdict
If someone charged with impaired driving is found guilty, they will automatically have a criminal record in addition to risking a fine of up to $5,000 and even imprisonment. She will also see her driver’s license revoked for a more or less long period, depending on whether this is her first drunk driving offence.
Measures to prevent repeat offenses are also used by Quebec authorities. This is why, in several cases, the accused will also be obliged to have a alcohol ignition interlock device in their vehicle when their license suspension expires. There is also the possibility that the driver at fault must undergo the impaired driving risk assessment and reduction program.
You can defend yourself against an impaired driving charge
As you have seen, the consequences of driving while impaired can be disastrous. However, be aware that it is possible to defend yourself against such accusations. Sometimes, the sentence can be considerably reduced if certain irregularities are noted during the study of the file. It is therefore wrong to think that you will definitely be found guilty if you fail a breathalyzer test.
The criminal lawyers at Riendeau Avocats will be able to defend your interests and your rights in the event of an impaired driving charge. In reality, each file deserves to be scrutinized in order to assess your chances of being acquitted. That’s why you should contact one of our criminal lawyers as soon as possible if you are arrested for impaired driving.