Summer is just about here. Sidewalk terraces, backyard decks and lawns, swimming pools, lakes and boats are where it’s all happening. People are gathering outdoors and everyone’s drinking rosé, beer, cider and coolers. Summertime, and the living is definitely easy…

But summer is also when there is the highest incidence of drunk driving and hit-and-runs. Popular opinion holds that December is the most dangerous month on the road, but in fact, the opposite is true. Over Christmas and New Year’s, Quebecers are most attentive about drunk driving: Opération Nez rouge is in effect and awareness campaigns are in full swing.

But in summer, it’s as though people just turn that awareness off. They drop in on their neighbours, have a glass of sangria or white wine or a cooler by the pool, chat a bit and then head out again. Without even realizing it, they have soon gone over their limit. Not that they intended to, of course. After all, it’s summer!

True enough. But while you may take a vacation, your judgement can’t.

Here are a few tips:

  • Eat while you drink, alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and drink slowly.
  • Count your drinks. Your liver is not on vacation, nor can it put in overtime to compensate for excess drinking.
  • Be even more careful out on the water. On a boat, the effect of alcohol is tripled by the sun, wind and motion.
  • If you’re drinking by a pool or lake, make sure you keep a close eye on the kids. A drowning can happen in seconds.
  • Download the free Éduc’alcool blood alcohol calculator for your iPhone or Android phone. Then use it.
  • Most importantly, don’t drive while impaired. Wait until you are fully in control or have someone take you home. Nothing spoils a summer vacation faster than a stay in the hospital or an appearance in court.

Summertime is fun time, but don’t play around with alcohol. Whatever you do, wherever you are, remember that moderation is always in good taste.

Hubert Sacy
Director General