Strong opposition to the reduction of the alcohol limit at the wheel

News 9 August, 2017
  • Photo Boris Proulx
    Eric Gaudreau, owner of Troquet in Hull, believes that lowering the legal limit for driving to 0.05 would hurt the bars and restaurants of the regions.

    Charles Lecavalier and
    Boris Proulx

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 00:00

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 00:00

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    Of stakeholders in the realm of automotive safety, education on alcohol and of the restoration were coldly welcomed Tuesday the desire of the federal minister of Justice to lower the legal alcohol limit for driving.

    “This measure falls from the sky and takes the problem by the wrong end, is unworthy the director of the organization éduc’alcool, Hubert Sacy, who says that Ottawa was in a hurry to get his opinion on the matter in June. It is a matter too serious to be left to the intuition of the moment and a consultation. “

    Citing new scientific research, the minister of Justice of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould, mark his preference for the abandonment of the “0,08” as set out in the criminal Code, in favor of a new limit of 50 mg per 100 ml of blood (0,05).

    “I believe that such a limit would better counter the danger posed by drivers who have consumed alcohol,” wrote Ms. Wilson-Raybould in a letter revealed by The Press, and destiny to his counterpart in quebec Stéphanie Vallée. The Newspaper has obtained a copy of the document dated 23 may.

    The office of Ms. Wilson-Raybould was later clarified that the letter was “advisory” and that the final decision has not been taken.

    The Québec government had already considered imposing the 0.05 as in other provinces, but gave it up in 2010. He has not yet responded to the request of Ottawa and the file is ” still under analysis “, says the office of Stéphanie Vallée.


    The middle of the restoration has long been opposed to this idea.

    “Our customers no longer come to make many drinks in us. They have come to take one or two drinks for their 5 to 7. They are the ones who will be penalized, and they will stay at home, ” believes Eric Gaudreault, owner of resto-bar le Troquet in Gatineau.

    It is estimated that three customers on four travelling by car, a reality for the majority of bars and restaurants located in the region. They would suffer from a reduction of the limit to 0.05, according to the Association des restaurateurs du Québec.

    “The solution, for us, is not to lower the legal threshold, but rather to intensify the controls on the road,” said Martin Vézina, public affairs advisor with this group of pressure.

    Even CAA-Quebec shows little enthusiastic to put in place this measure ” laudable “, but ” too sharp for Quebec “.

    “With the legalization of cannabis in less than a year, CAA-Quebec believes that the time to introduce such a measure is poorly chosen,” says the automobile association.


    The data from the SAAQ show that a little less than 40% of drivers who died in 2013 had a bac greater than 80 mg, but only 2% of them had rates ranging from 51 mg to 80 mg.

    This is still too much for the Mothers against drunk driving (MADD), which consider that “all means” should be taken to save lives.

    “This is the first cause of death among young people and the primary cause of death for criminals in this country “, says his spokesperson for Montreal, Theresa-Anne Kramer.

    Whether to impose a new limit would contribute to clogging the courts, the minister Wilson-Raybould indicates in its letter that a bill recently filed, the C-46, will speed up the processing times of the causes of drinking and driving.

    Quebec is unusual in the country

    Across the country, it is a crime to drive with over 80 mg per 100 ml of blood, in the famous ” 0,08 “.

    By contrast, all provinces, except Quebec, have included in their law that other penalties, for drivers pinched with less alcohol in their blood. Here are a few examples :

    British Columbia

    From 0.05 to alcohol :

    • Licence Suspension for 3 days (7 and 30 days during recurrences)
    • Seized vehicle during this period
    • Between 600 $ and 1500 $ fine and costs
    • Registration in the program “responsible driver” and installation of an ignition interlock device éthylométrique, according to his driving record.


    From of 0.04 alcohol :

    • Licence Suspension for 3 days (21 and 90 days old at the time of recurrence) ;
    • √Vehicle type between 3 and 14 days ;
    • Between 2654 and $ 1955 $ fine and costs ;
    • Entry to a programme of education to the alcohol.


    From 0.05 to alcohol :

    • Licence Suspension for 3 days (7 or 30 days in recurrences) ;
    • Fine of 198 $ ;
    • Program of compulsory treatment during a recurrence ;
    • Ignition interlock device for a period of six months during a second recurrence.


    No action under the “0,08” in the Code of the road, unless you drive a heavy vehicle (0,05), be the holder of a probationary licence or be under 22 years of age (zero-tolerance).