Designated drivers in Montreal are not hard to find if you know who to call, the ideal service for drivers who've had too much to drink, are compromised by drugs, or have undergone a medical procedure that's left them debilitated and need someone to drive both them and their car home, going above and beyond what Montreal taxi companies are equipped to provide.
In French, a designated driver service is called a service de raccompagnement.
Why You Would Call a Designated Driver in Montreal
Drinking and driving laws in Montreal are tougher than ever. Drivers subject to the zero-tolerance rule caught operating a vehicle with even a blood alcohol level below the legal limit risk immediate license suspension and car seizure.
Some risks aren't worth taking, for yourself and for others sharing the road. The following Montreal designated drivers might just save a life.
Operation Red Nose for Designated Drivers
A fantastic volunteer-based resource in operation since 1984, Operation Red Nose (Opération Nez Rouge) offers a designated driver service completely free of charge to the driving public across Canada.
But Operation Red Nose is only offered in the month of December, deliberately timed with the onslaught of Christmas, New Year, and other holiday-related parties and bashes that take over the end of every year.
While Operation Red Nose is a valuable, life-saving community service, it's a victim of its own success. Consider that on particularly busy nights (like New Year's Eve), wait times after placing a call can be as long as several hours, which is a rather good incentive to call a taxi or sign up for one of the alternate designated driver services listed below, especially for the other 11 months of the year.
Alco Prevention Designated Driver Membership
Alco Prevention Canada proposes a membership-based designated driver service, which means that you need to pay a membership fee to begin using the service. Members then pay by the kilometer for every drive home. Membership fees range from $25 to $65 depending on location. Service is available until 4 a.m.
Extrême Limite also offers membership packages to licensed bars and restaurants. Special one-day corporate event memberships to cover special events can be purchased as well. Extrême Limite services the Greater Montreal Area including the Island of Montreal and Laval as well as part of the North and South.
Point Zero 8 Designated Driver Membership
Point Zero 8 proposes lifetime membership with fees starting at $140. Once a member, each service call is extra with rates varying significantly, starting at $25. Note that a $1-per-minute waiting fee applies after the driver has waited 15 minutes on location in addition to the cost of the ride home. Service is available from 6 p.m. until 4 a.m seven nights a week.
While Point Zero 8 usually accepts non-member calls during most of the year (no guarantees though, and they also tack on an extra surcharge), they will only take member calls during the holiday rush in December. They also offer one-night designated driver services for parties and large events.
Point Zero 8 services the Greater Montreal Area including the Island of Montreal and Laval as well as far north as Mirabel, as far south as St-Basile-le-Grand, as far east as Repentigny and as far west as Vaudreuil-Dorion. Point Zero 8 may accept calls outside this zone.
There are many things to know before you visit Montreal, but of course, safety comes first.