Quebec's new alcohol law takes effect next month

Jun 14 2018, 7:13 pm

The Quebec government has agreed on new alcohol laws that will lighten various restaurant, bar and hotel liquor rules.

With the passing of Bill 170, the ARQ (Association des restaurateurs du Québec) announced via their website that the previously enforced laws were “from another era.”

The most prominent change is the abolishment of the previously enforced rule that customers at certain restaurants were forced to order food if they were drinking alcohol.

The old law was enforced at some restaurants who’s permit only allowed customers to drink while eating. It caused confusion among locals and tourists and begged the question: what constitutes an acceptable amount of food to be considered a meal?

Other equally pleasing laws that will come into effect with the passing of Bill 170:

  • While accompanied by an adult, children will be able to stay on bar terrasses until 10 pm.
  • People can drink in communal areas of hotels.
  • Grocery stores and depanneurs can sell alcohol as of 7 am.
  • Restaurants will be able to apply for an alcohol delivery permit.
  • Bars and restaurants will be allowed to mix drinks in advance (whatever isn’t sold the day of however, must be thrown out).
  • Caterers will be allowed to sell alcohol.
  • Bars can allow customers to stay until 4 am (they still can’t serve alcohol past 3 am).

The ARQ reminds licensees that some of these laws will come into effect as of July 1, 2018 and some will be implemented later on.

While the bill loosens a variety of Quebec’s alcohol laws, restaurant, bar and hotel owners will have to complete a course of “safe serve” to comply with the methods of serving people responsibly.

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