Imagine an evening during which…

nobody drinks one too many all drivers know they can drive safely everyone has fun AND feels safe.

On the night of November 25-26, 2011, some 30 licensed establishments across Quebec will prove that this is possible by actually making it happen.

How? With a huge awareness campaign involving the distribution of thousands of flyers and 15,000 alcohol breath testers in Cegeps and bars.

Organized by the Corporation of Bar, Pub and Tavern Owners of Quebec (CPBBTQ) in cooperation with Éduc’alcool, the event indicates the industry’s interest in promoting responsible drinking. For the Corporation, Nuit magique (Magic Night) is also a response to the recommendations of coroner André Dandavino. Corporation President Jean-Jacques Beauchamp explains:

“In August 2010, coroner Dandavino suggested that establishments serving alcohol could offer breath tests so that customers’ blood alcohol content could be checked, which would help determine whether people should drive.”

“That recommendation did not fall on deaf ears. CPBBTQ members were contacted and responded favourably to this inaugural Nuit magique. They want to do their part to eradicate the scourge that is drunk driving,” he noted.

A perfect fit for Éduc’alcool

Éduc’alcool is a natural partner for such a project. Nuit magique fits perfectly within its tradition of promoting alcohol education and responsible drinking. “Our goal is to provide Quebecers with the information and tools they need to make enlightened decisions about drinking. We already offer an online blood alcohol content calculator with a free iPhone app – Android app coming soon! – which we will be promoting as part of this operation,” said Hubert Sacy, Executive Director of Éduc’alcool.

As far as Éduc’alcool is concerned, the point is to drink moderately all the time, even if you’re not driving. “Not driving should not be perceived as authorization to drink excessively. Nonetheless, drivers must be doubly cautious and, like breath tests, the tools we offer can help people behave responsibly,” he added, pleased with the support for Nuit magique from Jean-Marie de Koninck, who also encourages people to use Éduc’alcool’s iPhone app.

Stéphane Maurais, Director of Alco Prevention Canada, notes sadly that Quebec still has close to 200 deaths a year that are directly related to alcohol. “It used to be difficult to measure blood alcohol content accurately, but that is no longer the case. There are plenty of easy-to-use breath testers on the market, and these should be used to help prevent drunk driving. The designated driver is still a good idea, but it would be great if people also got into the habit of appointing someone to hand out breath testers, since it’s easy to go over the .08 limit without realizing it. We are proud to be able to make these available to 15,000 drivers as part of Nuit magique.”