Drive-thru fast food restaurants are a dime a dozen in Canadian cities, but drive-thru liquor stores have always been few and far between. That’s why the expansion of Ontario’s Beer Store is worrying Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
MADD feels the expansion of the drive-thru stores to Cambridge and Peterborough may actually promote impaired driving in Ontario, and given that law enforcement are out in summer mode trying to stop drunk drivers, these openings could result in an increase in impaired driving arrests.
On one hand, the CEO of the Beer Store sees expansion as a simple increase in business. Instead of having to go into the store, patrons can just enter the drive-thru, pick up their alcohol order, and be on their way. He also stated that employees of the beer store are trained to detect whether or not someone has been drinking including slurred speech, fumbling for money, and staggered walking, and they feel as though the signs would the same even if the person was seated in a vehicle.
But MADD sees the situation differently. The CEO of MADD Canada stated that drive-thru alcohol stores make it much more difficult to look for signs of impairment like staggering when you walk, all because that person wouldn’t be walking into the store. He also drew attention to the fact that the Liquor Board of Ontario (LBCO) has never opened a drive-thru alcohol store, but the LBCO has never come publicly out to say they feel the concept could promote drunk driving.
Although the Beer Store feels as though the concept is harmless, MADD Canada is not alone in their fight to ban drive-thru liquor stores. MADD in the United States has also petitioned to have drive-thru liquor stores banned outright because they feel they make drinking and driving more accessible.
MADD may not be able to stop the Beer Store’s expansion, but you can guarantee they’ll be watching to see if there is an increase in impaired driving in Beer Store communities.