Passengers 19 years and older sailing on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, Spirit of British Columbia and the Coastal Celebration will be able to purchase one alcoholic beverage with a meal during a trial starting in late October. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Ferries’ new alcohol trial under scrutiny

MADD Canada recommended drink limit

BC Ferries’ new alcohol trial will be closely monitored.

The one-year-trial, set to start sometime in late October, will allow passengers 19 years and older to purchase one alcoholic drink with their meal on three vessels serving the Tsawassen-Swartz Bay route – one less than first proposed earlier this year.

Robert Duffus, communications manager with the B.C. ministry of the attorney general, said in an emailed statement that the one-drink limit reflects “extensive consultations with stakeholders, including experts on drug and alcohol public policy.”

He added BC Ferries would “monitor the results of the pilot and any impacts on public safety, and may request a review of the one-drink limit” at a later date.

RELATED: BC Ferries to sell beer and wine on Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route

Tracy Crawford, Mothers Against Drunk Driving regional manager for western Canada, said BC Ferries reached out MADD Canada and other stakeholders.

“It’s crucial to put guidelines in place to promote and ensure passenger safety,” Crawford said. “MADD Canada is pleased to see that BC Ferries are putting these measures in place. Confining alcohol consumption to one designated area and having a [one] drink limit per paying customer are strong policies.”

She later confirmed that her organization pushed for the new limit. “We did recommend to limit the amount of drinks someone can purchase,” she said.

Crawford said strong staff training requirements and ongoing enforcement of these service guidelines will be very important.

“We have encouraged BC Ferries to provide additional extensive training to all ferry staff on how to identify someone who may be intoxicated, either aboard the ferry or as they are entering their vehicles,” Crawford said. “Staff should be able to identify someone who may be impaired and know what they can do and who they can call to prevent that person from getting into their vehicle impaired.”

Overall, Crawford said it is “crucial” that any change in alcohol service aboard BC Ferries include strong regulations and guidelines to prevent impaired driving.

Crashes involving alcohol, drugs or both are the leading criminal cause of death in Canada, she said.

While BC Ferries already offers beer and wine for sale on northern routes serving Port Hardy, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and ports on the central coast, the trial marks the first time beer and wine will be available on sailings linking Vancouver and Victoria.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Michelle Obama: In Conversation in Victoria, March 31

Former First Lady hosted by Victoria Chamber for moderated event at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Victoria veteren receives the National Order of the Legion of Honour

Lorne Frame was pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War

Saanich homeowner creates petition to abolish unrelated occupancy limits

Unrelated occupancy limits give rise to duelling petitions

Saanich fire station to receive green remodel after more than 40 years

New facility to feature solar panels, space for more emergency vehicles

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read