Alcohol and the holiday season are a cultural match, but before going out, we need to make arrangements to arrive home safely after the party is over.
Anyone selling or serving alcohol in the province of BC is required by law to obtain their SIR (Serving It Right) Certification provided by the province. The course material is free with $35 charge to write the exam and obtain your certificate. You may want to read through this course, noting the “Common myths about alcohol” section. Do you think coffee can sober you up? You can also learn how much alcohol you can drink according to your body weight to stay legal, factors that influence intoxication, and read some interesting case studies. Pub and restaurant owners, bartenders and servers are trained to create and enforce responsible beverage service policies designed to keep us safe when drinking alcohol. Along with the benefit of educated staff, we can make responsible decisions and plan for our safe return home. Many options are available for safe transportation through the holiday season. Which one will you choose?
Designated Drivers: Many drinking establishments offer free non-alcoholic drinks for your designated driver, which can be encouraging when deciding which one of you will be the DD for the night. If your DD gives in to the pressures of crowd-yahoo and decides to drink, then you and your friends still have other options for a safe ride home.
City Transit: You can access public transit schedules, maps, routes, fares, connectors and rider info throughout the Okanagan via bctransit.com. Although our transit system is extensive and connects all the cities throughout the valley, be sure to check the holiday schedule, as busses may not be running that day. If the weather is too cold to wait outside for the bus to arrive, or is not scheduled to run as late as you need a ride, then you can call or wave down a cab.
Hire a Taxi: There are several taxi companies servicing the Okanagan region, and they are all easily reached with an easy Google/Bing search on your mobile device. Cab services are affordable, fast, and easy to find, even during this busy season. You will find your driver is friendly, knowledgeable about the area, and as a local, can give you some interesting facts about the city if you are a visitor.
Hire a Limousine: If you want to arrive and return in style, hire a limousine. While in transit, limousines can be a lot of fun, offering spacious luxury seating and high-quality audio. During the holidays, it is best to call ahead and reserve your limo, as their services are in demand this time of year. You may be surprised at the affordability of this luxury service, and with all of you pitching in to cover the costs while you ride together, the price tag can be surprisingly affordable. Most importantly, your limo ride will be safe, as the drivers are well trained and experienced to navigate through all types of road conditions and inclement weather.
Company/Private Transit: If your company is hosting a seasonal party and you intend to serve alcohol, offering a transit service so your employees arrive home safely, is a responsible act. If management offers free rooms at the party site, even better. That way, no one has to leave the building after drinking.
Designated Driving Services: Designated Driving services pick your vehicle up, along with you, to deliver you both safely home. These service companies are available for car/driver pickups throughout the Okanagan from many locations, including Enderby, Armstrong, Lumby, Vernon and Kelowna. They have different – and very reasonable! – rates depending on your drop off point, so give them a call for price and reservation information.
Whatever mode you choose for traveling safely through the holidays, we wish you laughter, great food, and the company of family and friends.
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