Behaviours – Drinking and Driving

Responsibilities and Smart Solutions

If you are going out and intend to drink alcohol, leave your car at home and choose an alternative. There are many solutions! The important thing is to think about it before heading out.

Alternatives

Public transit

Taking the bus or the metro, when possible, makes things easier. A tip: check the schedule ahead of time.

Taxi

Consider Cool Taxi coupons, which can be used like cash to pay for your fare. Just so you know, these coupons cannot be exchanged against anything else, such as one last drink before leaving…

Drive-home services

Red Nose is offered during the holidays, whereas Tolérance Zéro and other drive-home services are offered throughout the year in various regions of the province.

These services are inexpensive, and ensure that your car is in the driveway the next morning!

Designated driver

A designated driver is not the one who has had the least to drink. He or she is the one who has not had a drop of alcohol nor taken any drugs.

A few tips

  • In a group, take turns being the designated driver.

  • Never get a ride with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs.

  • Check to make sure your designated driver stays sober.

Counting on the hospitality of others

  • If you have been drinking, don’t hesitate to sleep over.

  • Insist that friends stay over if they can’t drive. If they resist, clearly state your disapproval and support those who intervene. Persuasion is more effective as a group. 

A pact for life

Sign a pact for life (PDF, 357 KB)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards. (available in French only) with your friends or family. In the pact, each person promises not to drive while impaired and offers their services to go and get the other person at any time.

Useful information
Care or control of a vehicle

The law not only prohibits impaired driving, but also having the care or control of a vehicle while impaired. Here are some situations that can have the same consequences as impaired driving:

  • sitting in the driver’s seat, even if the vehicle is stopped or broken down
  • being in the vehicle (even asleep on the back seat) and having the possibility of starting the engine
  • being near the vehicle, for example to brush snow off the car or put things in the trunk

Party safely: responsibilities of organizers or hosts

10 tips for organizing a party

  1. Suggest that your guests travel in groups and choose a designated driver.
  2. Organize contests or draws exclusively for designated drivers and give them non-alcoholic drinks.
  3. Offer water and non-alcoholic drinks to your guests so they can alternate.
  4. Have a draw for Cool Taxi coupons.
  5. Display the telephone number of a taxi company or drive-home service.
  6. Serve snacks high in fat and protein (such as dips or cheese on unsalted crackers). Compared to chips, pretzels and other salty foods, they make people less thirsty and therefore less likely to drink more alcohol.
  7. Use a jigger to measure drinks, not guesswork.
  8. Don't drink too much yourself, so you can keep control of the party.
  9. At the end of the evening, offer coffee, tea, water or fruit juice instead of “one more for the road.”
  10. Never let anyone drive impaired. Take them home, have them stay the night, take away their keys or give them money for a taxi, but don't let them leave in their car. Insist on it, make it clear that you disapprove and stick up for others who intervene. If you all insist, it is even better and more effective!
Useful information

Non-alcoholic drinks

Alcohol-free beer and wine is available. A simple Web search can let you find thousands of tasty and refreshing mocktail recipes. Think about it!

Alcohol permit

In terms of the law, the Act respecting offences relating to alcoholic beverages, the Act respecting liquor permits and the Civil Code of Québec set out penalties for a liquor permit holder who does not demonstrate responsible behaviour towards guests or customers who have had too much to drink.

A few tips

  • Do not give away free alcoholic drinks.
  • Avoid “2 for 1” specials.
  • Do not give alcoholic drinks as prizes.
  • Ban chugging contests and other drinking games and competitions.
  • Organize contests or draws exclusively for designated drivers.
  • Offer designated drivers non-alcoholic drinks.