Quebec judge quits over drunk-driving charge
Photo: CP files
Judge Lyse Lemieux, shown in a 1996 file photo, announced Thursday that she is retiring chief justice of the Quebec Superior Court after a drunk-driving incident.
By ALLISON DUNFIELD
Globe and Mail Update
Thursday, Aug 19, 2004
Lyse Lemieux, the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Quebec, said Thursday that she will retire as a result of a drunk-driving incident.
In a statement, Judge Lemieux, 68, describes the Aug. 5 incident as ”extremely unfortunate.”
According to her statement, she hit city property and was charged with driving a motor vehicle with weakened faculties and with an alcohol rating over the legal limit.
She said that no one else was involved in the accident and that no one was injured.
”After sitting as a judge for twenty years and six months, including almost ten years in management positions," she said, "I can say that I have been especially lucky and privileged to be part of such a noble and prestigious institution as the Superior Court. In addition, I am proud to have been the first woman to hold the position of Chief Justice.
”However, all citizens are equal before the law and I am taking my responsibilities.”
She acknowledged having been stripped of her license for three months in 2001 after passing a school bus on her way to work.
She said she will leave on Sept. 30 in order to ensure that the court continues to be able to function.
Judge Lemieux was appointed Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Quebec in August 1996 by then-prime Minister Jean Chrétien. She was the first woman to hold the top spot on the province's senior trial court.
A member of the court since 1978, Judge Lemieux had been associate chief justice since 1994.
She replaced Lawrence Poitras, who retired as chief justice.