LETTERS: Alcohol on ferries a bad idea

Editor:

I recently read in the Peace Arch News about BC Ferries’ plan to sell wine and beer and couldn’t believe what I was reading.

If a bunch of patrons want to drink on a ferry does that make it a wise decision? This subject has been raised several times in years past. It was concluded that it was certainly not necessary and could contribute to, or result in, a vehicular accident. Now they say it will only be two drinks with food, but will BC Ferry staff ask each person ordering a drink, “How many drinks have you already had today?” And then decline to serve them if they’ve already had “only one or two several hours ago”? No way that will ever happen.

Now let’s hope this won’t contribute to causing an accident but if it does, BC Ferries will certainly deny any responsibility and instead blame the operator, who should have known better.

It’s all about the bottom line – cost. Ferry fuel prices are likely going up and to make folks a bit happier as you tap them for a higher ticket price, serve them alcohol.

Interesting stats from the BC Coroners Service were in the same issue, indicating “alcohol or drugs were factors in 34 per cent of fatal crashes with more than half of drivers under the age of 40 impaired at the time of their death.”

This information is interesting in relation to the location of the ferries in question, in that the Fraser Health area (Delta to Hope) was the second highest area in B.C. for folks killed in car accidents, at 77, and Vancouver Island was the third deadliest area, at 49 deaths. Happy sailing between Vancouver Island and the Fraser Health area.

What’s next? Will BC Transit offer canned beer from a dispenser on buses and SkyTrain because a survey showed riders would like to have a cool beer and they aren’t driving anyway? All that extra revenue might actually knock five cents off the fare. The cost for increased policing to deal with more unruly riders, well that comes from a different budget.

Tim Roark, South Surrey

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