17 October 2010

The party bus drinking thing explained

When it comes to absolutely idiotic, nothing quite matches the operators of a local party bus.

No, it’s not idiotic that people apparently want to drive around St. John’s on its absolutely pathetic streets and drink alcohol in a confined space, although the thought of that never quite seemed to make sense to your humble e-scribbler.  Let’s not discuss, for the moment, the fact that one of these tarted up school buses has a zip line in it.

That’s actually another issue of potential idiocy.

No, the idiocy is the claim by the operator of one of these buses that he will continue to serve alcohol or allow alcohol but will work to ensure the people on the bus are over 19 years of age.  Police pulled over one of the buses recently and ticketed the driver under the Liquor Control Act.

This guy needs a brain, a lawyer or a lawyer with a brain.

This isn’t an issue of the legal drinking age in the province.

It has to do with the black and white words of the law:

80. (1) A person shall not drive or have the care or control of a motor vehicle as defined in the Highway Traffic Act, whether it is in motion or not, while there is contained in it, alcoholic liquor, except

(a) alcoholic liquor in a bottle or package that is unopened and the seal unbroken; or

(b) alcoholic liquor in a bottle or package that is packed with personal effects in baggage that is fastened closed or that is not otherwise readily available to a person in the vehicle.

(2) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1), the court may order that person to pay a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum fine of $500 or, in default, to imprisonment for a minimum term of 2 days and a maximum term of 7 days.

People have been done for drinking in a van parked by a picket line and used as a shelter during a labour dispute. You cannot have open liquor containers in a vehicle.


If the people operating party buses want people to be able to tipple in the vehicles, they’ll need to get a change in the law. promising to restrict drinking to people over the legal drinking age is foolish.


- srbp -