Legal Chronicles

The summary evaluation and the complete evaluation of the SAAQ

How to be prepare to summary evaluation or the complete evaluation of the SAAQ !

Following an arrest for impaired driving with alcohol and / or drugs, the SAAQ may require your participation in the Program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (PERRC).

Two forms of assessments may then be required.

  1. The risk assessment: 

The risk assessment, also known as a summary assessment, lasts only a few hours to determine that you are not at risk of re-offending. Generally, this type of evaluation is required:

-after a guilty plea or conviction for impaired driving with alcohol and / or drugs where the alcohol level is under the double of the statutory rate, which is below 160 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood;

– However, if you have been arrested for refusing to blow into the approved detection device or the breathalyzer or have breathed more than 160 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, wich is the double the legal limit, the SAAQ will require that you pass this evaluation before the end of the administrative suspension of 3 months following your arrest in order to regain your regular driver’s license (ie without breathalyzer).

This assessment is usually conducted in an addiction center, by a psychologist or social worker, and is primarily based on American psychological questionnaires that assess a person’s risk of re-offending at driving while impaired. This assessment may seem easy and straightforward, but a large proportion of candidates fail because they are not adequately prepared for the type of questions asked and do not fully understand the objectives actually being addressed. In order to pass this assessment, it is necessary to prepare well with one of our lawyers before presenting yourself at your appointment.


  1. The comprehensive assessment

The comprehensive assessment or complete assessment lasts from 7 to 9 months and aims to set up a coaching plan to establish goals and change your alcohol-related behavior. There are 3 mandatory meetings and several questionnaires to complete at home regarding your consumption habits. In addition, you will be asked to read several texts on the effects of alcohol and you will have to comment them.

This assessment is usually required when a person fails the summary assessment to recover his regular driver’s license, which was confiscated by the court following a conviction for impaired driving. It may also be required of a person who has been intercepted for refusing to breathe in the breathalyzer or who has breathed more than twice the legal limit, which is more than 160 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood.

Given the very nature of this evaluation, which is a follow-up with the evaluator, some candidates will pass the evaluation without being guided through the process. However, the complexity of the SAAQ programs and the consequences on your driver’s license being important if you fail this assessment, it may be helpful to consult one of our lawyers to help you answer the different questionnaires required, structure properly your answers before sending them to the evaluator and avoid a lot of administrative delays before you get your regular license.


See also:  How to prepare to SAAQ summary assessment