If you plan to drink or participate in other mind-altering substances on Date Night you will need to plan your safe return home in advance. This will ensure you avoid making bad decisions that will put you, your date and the general public in danger.
Alcohol and other drugs can slow your reflexes, reduce coordination and increase risk-taking behaviour, making a car crash more likely.
These tips are carefully outlined to ensure you and our date make it home safely:
Leave the Car at Home
Even if you’re not planning on drinking having your vehicle nearby is all too tempting when you only think you had a few drinks and are fine to drive. It's safer to assume you will have a drink or two and avoid temptations by leaving the car at home.
Use Public Transportation
The Calgary Transit website allows you to plan your trip, find out when the next bus arrives or see schedules for all routes. Most of the train stations and several of the main terminals have Park and Ride lots. These lots have both free parking and reserved parking.
An adult fare of $3.40 is good for up to 90 minutes of travel. The train that travels downtown along 7 Avenue between City Hall and Kerby station is the free fare zone. This means that you can hop on for free when travelling along this stretch. Make sure you purchase a fare if you’re traveling outside of downtown.
Calgary Transit General Enquiries Line 403-262-1000
Take a Taxi or Rideshare
There are several taxi companies in and around the city to take you anywhere you need to go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you're open to alternative modes of transportation you can also investigate ridesharing companies like Uber.
Some contacts for the safe ride home are below for your convenience:
Yellow Cabs 403-299-9999
Associated Cabs 403-299-1111
Calgary United Cabs 403-777-1111
Mayfair Taxi 403-255-6555
Black Top Taxi 403-735-3222
Delta Cabs 403-278-9999
Calgary City Cabs 403-605-999
Assign a Reliable Designated Driver or Hire One
If you do have a trusted non-drinking friend, you can count on for a ride home that is great. However, if you are not sure if they can rely on it is better to have a backup plan in place. They may promise they got your back at the end of the night but then end up caving in to pressure and enjoying a beer or ten.
After you have been drinking and you have your vehicle but need to get yourself and your ride home, Drive My Ride will drive you in yours. They will send a team of two drivers. One will drive you in your ride while the other driver follows in their car also known as the shadow car.
Stay at a Friends House or Find a Safe Haven
When faced with the decision to drive home under the influence or crash on your friend’s couch, we recommend the later. There is also the option of not going home at all by adding to the experience with a hotel or Airbnb reservation.
Take Care as a Vulnerable Pedestrian
If the venue is close to home, you might consider walking to and from your date night out. This requires you to take extra persuasions as a vulnerable pedestrian. You need to avoid walking close to the road, ensure the road is safe to cross and you have a phone to call someone in case of an emergency. It's also good to note bad areas of the city and times you will be walking home, if you will be walking alone and if this is worth the risk.
Use Your AMA Membership for a Safe Ride Home
AMA Members can utilize the AMA “Safe Ride Home” program. This can help you get back home if you’re unable to drive yourself due to a physical impairment. It’s not meant to replace a traditional taxi service, but if you can’t drive yourself home safely, they will get you there. Make sure to read these important notes about the Safe Ride Home Service.
Know when you're ready to drive again
You need time to get alcohol out of your system. Simply drinking a few coffees, or eating a big meal will not reduce your blood alcohol levels. If you have had a lot to drink, you may be over the legal limit for as long as the next day after and should not drive. Getting back to zero explains how long it takes to get alcohol out of your system.