1: Buying a bottle of wine at the grocery store
We’ve all come to accept it, outside of Quebec you aren’t allowed to buy alcohol where you shop for groceries. Say you’re having some friends over for dinner. You're going to make a mean caprese salad so you pick up the perfect mozzarella. Then, you get in your car and go to a separate location to buy the wine. If you’re lucky you only have to walk next door to the grocery chain’s liquor store and wait in another line… Okay, but why? The government’s job isn’t to inconvenience you (though it may seem like it sometimes). Would society collapse if we could buy wine and cheese in the same place? Tell you what, let’s try it out. If a dimensional portal is opened, crab aliens pour out, and the human race is destroyed, I’ll admit I was wrong.
2: Drinking in public
A quintessential part of a vacation to Paris is grabbing a bottle of wine, stretching out on the grass at the Champs de Mars with a picnic and taking in the stunning view of the Eiffel Tower. Buzzkill alert! In most provinces in Canada, this would be illegal. While this may allow some of us to clutch our pearls just a little less tightly, these laws don’t have much of a practical effect. Who among us hasn’t put alcohol into another container and had a drink on the beach? Yeah, you have, you little rule-breaker you.
3: Crossing a provincial border with alcohol
Though seldom enforced, it is still illegal to bring alcohol across most provincial borders. New Brunswick retiree Gerard Comeau found that out when he was fined $292.50 in 2012 for trying to bring in 14 cases of beer and 3 bottles of liquor from a Quebec border town. Comeau’s case has made its way to the Supreme Court, which will take a look into what the fathers of Confederation meant by s. 121 of the British North America Act. So, on the one hand, there’s the Constitution, and on the other hand, retirees bringing alcohol across provincial borders in the same country is so terrible a thing it MUST BE STOPPED. Seriously though… #FreeTheBeer.
4: Ordering a drink in a bar past 2 AM
In most provinces across the country, you’re not allowed ordering a drink at a bar past 2 AM. Why? Because something-something prohibition era, something-something public morality. Bars can’t choose how late to stay open and serve drinks. Instead, they release their inebriated patrons into the streets at the same time like an undead horde with a thirst for human brains. This, of course, causes no problems for law enforcement whatsoever.
5: Purchasing more than 2 drinks at once after 1:00 AM in Alberta
This is a weird one. Say you’re having a cold one with the boys (or girls) and it’s your turn to buy the next round. You’re under no illusions about what you’re about to face. You throw on your Elven cloak and brave the bar line like you're Frodo headed into Mordor. After being ignored multiple times by the bartender, you finally catch his eye and order 4 Burt Reynolds (this is Alberta after all). The bartender looks at his watch and shakes his head. “Sorry Frodo, it’s 1:03 AM so I can only sell you 2 drinks at a time”. If only you had come 4 minutes earlier, then you could have made that exact order. That doesn’t make any sense, does it? Of course it doesn’t, but these are mad times we live in, mad I say.