Bars

Canadian bar serving alcohol on coasters from drunk drivers' car wrecks

The Emmet Ray in Toronto, Ontario, utilizes coasters made from car wrecks.

The Emmet Ray in Toronto, Ontario, utilizes coasters made from car wrecks.  (Google Street View)

It’s never a smart idea to get behind the wheel after too many drinks, but one Canadian bar is intent on driving that message home with an unlikely platform. 

Earlier this month, The Emmet Ray in Toronto, Ontario, began serving its patrons' drinks on metal coasters made from the wreckage of cars that were involved in drunken-driving accidents.

Each one reads, “This coaster used to be a car that never made it home.” Some even appear to feature scratches, chipping paint or tiny dents caused by car collisions.

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The bar’s coaster design is the brainchild of Arrive Alive, an organization that works to raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving, reports Global News.

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According to the group’s program director, Michael Stewart, Arrive Alive obtains the metal for each coaster from a body shop in Vancouver, B.C. The coasters are then shaped using a hydraulic-press before being laser-etched with the aforementioned phrase. Each piece is also etched with the address of Arrive Alive’s website, which contains download links for public transit and taxi apps.

“Impaired driving remains one of the leading criminal causes of death in Canada,” said Stewart in a statement on the organization’s site. “We wanted to remind people, on the biggest drinking night of the year, that there are consequences to driving drunk — and remind them to use a designated driver, take transit or download The Ride App for a safe ride home.”

So far, Stewart says he is quite pleased with the feedback he’s received about the coasters.

“People saw them and started having a conversation about how they got their license, how they behave behind the wheel,” he told Global News.

The Emmet Ray’s patrons, too, seem to think the coasters are a novel idea.

Arrive Alive has yet to announce whether they’re partnering with other bars in the Toronto area, or if they plan to continue the campaign indefinitely. Still, there's no doubt the coasters can provide a valuable message at any bar, or at any time of year.

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That said, Arrive Alive isn't completely anti-drinking — they just think bar patrons should always have a plan for getting home.

“If you want to have a good time, you totally can," Stewart said. "Just take the few seconds to plan a safe ride home.”