Charges that can be laid for impaired driving

There are several offences related to impaired driving. The most common are:

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Impaired driving causing bodily harm
  • Impaired driving causing death
  • Refusal to comply with an order or to provide a breath sample
  • Driving while under a driving prohibition
  • Dangerous driving
  • Hit and run

 These common offences are committed by people of all ages and backgrounds, and they have a wide range of impacts. Upon arrest, you may receive a driving prohibition under the Quebec Highway Safety Code (SAAQ), in addition to the consequences that may be imposed by the criminal court should you be found guilty. Me Benoît can minimize the impact of these charges.

Possible impaired driving defences

Over the years, Me Benoît has developed expertise in vehicle offences. He stands out in particular when it comes to defending impaired driving cases. Even before your appearance, he will go through your file with you to gather as much information as possible. This is to establish and preserve the underpinnings of your defence. He will scrutinize the police officers’ work and note even the slightest departure from the rules. He will check the handling and maintenance of the devices the police used. He will give you all the information he collects so that you can make an informed choice about how to pursue your case.

Sentences for impaired driving

It is important to understand that a person convicted of one or more of these offences may face minimum sentences[1] in the Quebec Court, Criminal Justice Division. The minimum penalty will be the amount of the fine and/or the period of detention. In addition, the judge must compulsorily pronounce a driving prohibition. It should be noted that in the event of a second offence, the Criminal Code provides for minimum periods of detention, which must be served in a detention centre.

It is important to note that the penalties provided by the Criminal Code differ from the administrative penalties imposed on you by the SAAQ (the Quebec automobile insurance corporation). These are often more severe than those imposed by the Court of Quebec, Criminal Division in regard to your right to drive.

[1] A minimum sentence is a sentence below which a judge cannot go. Once found guilty, the accused must at least receive the sentence that applies to his or her offence, depending on re-offence.

Personalized support to help you make informed decisions

Are you facing charges?

For greater peace of mind, and to give Me Benoît ample time to advise you and build your case, contact him as soon as possible after your release by the police. To preserve your memory of the events, take note of the course of your day up until your release by the police. This may be essential to your defence. You will find a form here to help you to jot down all the important elements.