RACJ consultations on revising alcohol legislation

Concrete, practical and responsible measures

The Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux held consultations on possible changes to the alcohol laws in Quebec, and Éduc’alcool raised some very specific issues.

In Quebec, people can get their beer delivered by grocery stores and their wine and spirits delivered by the SAQ. One could therefore imagine that licensed restaurants that deliver food might also be allowed to deliver alcohol. But this would necessarily involve verifying the age of those to whom the alcohol is delivered.

People who do not drink a whole bottle of wine ordered in a restaurant could conceivably be allowed to take the unfinished wine home with them. This would encourage people to drink moderately and keep them from feeling obliged to finish a bottle they had paid for, if they felt like they had drunk enough.

It is easy to imagine that customers be allowed to bring their own wine and beer to accompany a restaurant meal, provided the bottles are sealed and unopened.

Extreme caution is required in easing regulations to authorize licensed establishments to serve alcohol starting at 6 a.m. If the proposed measure were in effect, it would most likely be useful to alcoholics experiencing withdrawal symptoms in the morning. The only acceptable change would be to authorize the service of alcoholic beverages generally served with breakfast, i.e. only mimosas.

Parents are responsible for educating their children. And they are just as responsible after 8 p.m. as they are after 6 p.m. Therefore, minors accompanied by their parents could be authorized to be in places where alcohol is being served (such as terraces, etc.) until 8 p.m.

Restaurants could be authorized to pre-mix mixed beverages (such as sangria) and to pre-fill wine carafes, but the issue should be considered from the point of view of controlling contraband alcohol. If one had to choose between allowing the Hell’s Angels to profit from illicit sales and a slight delay in service, the scales would tip clearly in favour of control. However, if controlling contraband is not a problem, the measure is acceptable.

Restaurant servers and bartenders must be required to take the Service in Action course in order to be allowed to practise their profession. It is unthinkable that, in Quebec, you need a permit to cut hair, but not to serve alcohol. Service in Action should be mandatory for all bartenders and servers.

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