MCC, CMA give positions on BAC

The CMA and MCC both replied to the press release that's been floating around.
The CMA and MCC both replied to the press release that's been floating around.
The CMA and MCC both replied to the press release that’s been floating around.

A few days ago, we told you the Canadian Motorcycle Association and Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada were backing a zero blood alcohol policy for riders, after seeing a press release issued by the Arrive Alive organization that said that.

After that story ran, we had some folks in the Soapbox saying that wasn’t the case. So, we called the MCC and CMA and here’s what they had to say.

The MCC said they did indeed back such a policy – for new riders. The MCC released a policy statement back in January that suggested that provinces look at many ways of making new riders safer, including other ideas as well, like graduated licensing.

The idea of having a zero BAC standard wasn’t a blanket statement for all riders, simply a suggestion for ways that provinces could keep new riders safer – some jurisdictions already have rules like this for new drivers.

““You have to put our message in context,” said MCC president Daniel H. Tessier. “Our focus is strictly on graduated licensing.”

And here’s what the CMA’s Marilynn Bastedo had to say about the press release:

“This release does deal with road safety policy and not competition activity. The CMA Standing Orders include in Article 13 – Road Safety, point 03 which states ‘The Association affirms a “zero tolerance” policy with respect to drinking and driving.’ We would support any initiative to assure that motorcyclists do not drink and ride.

“Concerning competition activities, as we discussed, CMA rules have always contained a prohibition on the consumption of alcohol by participants in events, as well as their support crews.”

We also contacted Arrive Alive but were unable to reach the individual we needed to talk to about the press release.


  1. There are already laws in place that govern alcohol and licensed operators of motor vehicles. If you exercise some self control, you can have a pint with your meal and ride on down the highway.

    While I agree that new riders have enough on their plate without increasing their risk by adding alcohol to the equation, experienced riders should be allowed to have a pint without risking their license and livelihood because of teetotalism. Why cater to the nanny state and take away a privilege that many do not abuse or mishandle? Those who cannot exercise good judgement will be singled out and prosecuted in accordance with provincial traffic acts as is the case today.

    In their example, a rider would be subject to a roadside stop and put to the breathalyzer test as a routine daily occurrence.

    The CMA needs to think just how a “Zero Tolerance” policy would be enforced. I think it would be an insufferable act of roadside totalitarianism , and an untenable goal for law enforcement officials.

  2. “And here’s what the CMA’s Marilynn Bastedo had to say….”

    Who cares. Look up irrelevant in the dictionary and you’ll see the CMA logo as the definition.

  3. In other words, the “press release” was no such thing. Simply a distorted, inaccurate opinion by some of the quasi-journalistic internet “news media” who – in the rush to get something up on their site – publish anything and everything, whether or not it has even a single grain of truth in a bushel of cow manure.

    • You’re saying that a reporter made it up somewhere. That’s not the case. There was a press release that was in newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, and a Canadian press release wire. Whether or not it was accurate is another question – I think the quotes from the organizations speak for themselves.

      • I’m saying that whoever wrote the original story did not accurately state or report what was said and meant. And no subsequent news service, newspaper, or internet site did any checking of what was said or printed by the CMA and the MCC. Nor did the media, in general – or in particular – ever determine just how many (or few) actual paid-up, card-carrying members these two organizations do have. It is, by my calculations, a very small percentage of what they claim. And probably around 1% of the number of active motorcyclists in Canada.

  4. “After that story ran, we had some folks in the Soapbox saying that wasn’t the case.”
    Please reread Soapbox, we were not questioning whether or not the MCC and CMA were supporting the release.
    We wanted to know on who’s behalf (big insurance/manufacturers ?) they supported it, and how they had arrived at the 85,000 number of people on who’s behalf they claimed to be speaking.

  5. This is already the case in Quebec, where new riders have a learner’s licence for 11 months and then a probationary licence for an additional 24 months, both of which have a zero tolerance for alcohol.

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