Top Quebec judge quietly sentenced for DUI

Nov. 10, 2004. 10:47 AM

MONTREAL (CP) Lyse Lemieux, former Quebec Superior Court chief justice, has been quietly sentenced after pleading guilty to impaired driving.

The 68-year-old former jurist was fined $600 and had her driver's licence suspended for a year.

Lemieux was scheduled to appear in court today. Her name even appeared on the docket along with a series of others. Reporters had been told on Tuesday that her case was to be dealt with today.

But court officials told reporters who had gathered that she appeared before Quebec court Judge Serge Boisvert on Nov. 2.

Lemieux announced her retirement after 26 years on the bench in August as a result of the charge.

Her car hit a piece of road equipment on the side of a highway while she was driving home to Montreal from Laval after a game of bridge.

Police said a breathalyser test registered a blood alcohol level that was double the legal limit of 0.08. The $600 fine is a minimum for a first offence.

Prime Minister Paul Martin's cabinet authorized on Oct. 26 that Lemieux receive a full lifetime pension of $160,266 per year, retroactive to Oct. 1. She had been earning $240,000 a year.

The criminal conviction doesn't affect her lifetime annuity, said David Gourdeau, commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.