If you’re planning on attending the Calgary Stampede next month and you’re worried that you won’t be able to enjoy your 8 a.m. beer at a local bar, rest easy. Once again the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has your back. Recently it decided that everyone behaved themselves so well last year that liquor selling can again begin at 8.
Moreover, if you’re an early riser, you’ll be able to start bending your elbow sooner in some places. Establishments on the parade route can apply to start selling at 7 a.m. if they feel the need to.
These policies were in effect last year and the year before that. There is, however, a new rule that applies not just to the Stampede but to all of Alberta. AGLC is eliminating the 8 p.m. Happy Hour limit, which will allow businesses to discount drinks as they see fit any time.
The reason for the continuation of this easygoing policy is that visitors have not – in general – been getting into trouble as a result of drinking during the event. Public safety advocates were worried that the increased drinking hours would lead to more DUI arrests, but this appears not to be the case. One reason might be that AGLC’s public education efforts have been working.
The Commission has been publicizing its guidelines for low-risk drinking: two drinks a day for women, three for men, with one extra on special occasions. And of course, no drinking while driving.
Perhaps admitting that people like to drink, and urging moderation, is a wiser policy than issuing constant warnings of the dangers of too much alcohol.
So if you are headed for the Calgary Stampede, have a look at AGLC’s guidelines first, and don’t think about getting behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. DUI patrols will be out in force.
And don’t feel that, just because the bars open at eight, that you have to start drinking then. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a Calgary morning sober.