Repeat drunk drivers in Quebec will be forced to use a breathalyzer for life

Nov 22 2019, 6:31 am

Quebec’s impaired driving laws are about to adapt stricter consequences.

The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) announced that starting Monday, motorists in the province convicted of drunk driving twice within a decade will have to blow into a breathalyzer every time they attempt to start a car — for the rest of their lives.

Repeat drunk drivers will have to blow into the machine to prove their blood-alcohol content (BAC) is below Quebec’s legal limit of 0.08 mg, or their car won’t start.

Affected drivers will have their licences branded so any intercepting officials will know to inspect the driver’s ignition for an interlock device, a piece of installable equipment that prevents a vehicle from starting unless a legal BAC starts it.

Drivers with a branded licence will not be able to use any other car unless the interlock device is installed.

drunk driving

Image: Breathalyzer / Shutterstock

According to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), alcohol-related road incidents cause 100 deaths each year, 220 serious injuries, and 1,800 minor injuries.

Drivers who are caught without the interlock device will be fined $1,500, have their vehicles impounded for 30 days, and have their licence suspended for three months.

“Although road safety is improving in Quebec, accidents caused by drinking and driving are still causing too many deaths each year,” stated François Bonnardel, Minister of Transport of Quebec the Estrie region. “With this new measure coming into effect on November 25, we are sending a clear message to motorists and repeat offenders: driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is unacceptable.”