New Year’s Eve is coming and with it, parties, booze, and tragedies caused by idiots who cannot accept that they are too drunk to drive and jerks who willfully ignore the rules of consent. For those of you planning to party on New Year’s Eve, I’ve provided a short but concise list of legal tips to help start the year off without anybody getting hurt.

If you are drunk, do not drive.

This should go without saying as it’s not only the law, it’s common sense. If you’re caught for drunk driving and are lucky you’ll just get a fine and the suspension of your driver’s license. If unlucky, drunk driving charges can result in a jail term ranging from four months to life in prison.

When in doubt, don’t do it.

The legal definition of drunk has nothing to do with how you feel. It is an arbitrary standard: if you have more than eighty milligrams of alcohol in your system for every hundred milliliters of blood, you are considered above the legal limit.

You may feel perfectly fine and sober but that does not matter if a breathalyzer indicates that you are above this limit. The golden rule to follow on New Year’s Eve or any other time is: when in doubt, don’t drive. Sleep over, get a lift, or call a cab or Operation Nez Rouge to get home safe.

You’ll save lives, including your own.

Drunken consent is not legally consent.

Rapes happen all the time, and in environments where booze is free flowing, there is always that scum bag who says the victim agreed to sex even though said victim was very drunk at the time of the attack. If a person is drunk they are in no shape to consent to sexual activity. They are incapable of consenting to sexual activity because their ability to freely give consent was affected by the alcohol. If a person is in no shape to drive, they are in no condition to agree to sex with you, so do the noble, legal thing and don’t have sex with them.

If a person is unconscious, they cannot consent.

The inevitable result of too much drinking and partying is often a loss of consciousness. If a person is passed out, this is not an invitation to touch, grope, or spoon with them. If a person is too drunk to say “no” to whatever it is you want to do with them, they are also too drunk to say “yes”.

Their passivity does not equal consent. The legal definition of sexual assault is sexual touching without consent, so if a person is unconscious, keep your hands to yourself.

When in doubt, check in.

A lot of people find the idea of double-checking for consent an unsexy mood-killer. You know what’s really unsexy? Sexual assault and the ten or more years in prison you get if convicted.

When in doubt, check with the person you’re with to make sure they’re consenting freely to all of what you are doing together. Check often if you have to. It’s better than violating your partner and will keep you out of trouble.

Remember that fireworks are dangerous and cities usually have rules about where you can set them off.

New Year’s Eve can be a blast and to celebrate you may want to set off some fireworks. Do your homework first.

Fireworks are extremely dangerous and every New Year’s Day the news is filled with horror stories of people who blew their fingers off and burned their houses down. Remember that at the end of the day, fireworks are basically just explosives and are just as dangerous.

Read the instructions on the package, do not use them when drunk and be sure use them far from buildings and facing away from people. You should also call the city or check out your municipal website to make sure there are no bylaws in place forbidding the use of fireworks within city limits.

In Montreal it is forbidden to use fireworks, bottle rockets, or other pyrotechnics without authorization from the city. Failure to obey the laws could result in hefty fines and if there is property damage or people get hurt, you could also be looking at jail time.

The perk of adulthood is that we can welcome the New Year the way it was meant to be welcome: with a glass of something boozy and a kiss at midnight. Unfortunately it’s also one of the most dangerous nights to be out celebrating.

Let’s start this year off right by making sure our world is a little safer.


Now that it looks like we’re in for spring to early summer weather (fingers still crossed), this week is a perfect time to get out of the house. We have a few other, equally strong reasons to explore our city in the form of music shows you can check out. So, let’s get started:

The Lef7overs + Light Bulb Alley + Donny Dash

On Friday head over to Barfly if you’re into Punk / Garage Rock as three local acts in the form of The Lef7overs, Light Bulb Alley and Donny Dash are set to play a free show! With Barfly’s drink prices being more reasonable than anywhere else on The Main this has to be the best show this weekend for those who are brok… ummm more financially challenged.

Light Bulb Alley and Donny Dash will be providing the garage rock while headliners the Lef7overs are known for playing punk rock covers of female fronted bands. Knowing this, it seems like no coincidence that a capital “L” and “7” appear in the band’s name.

The Lef7overs, Light Bulb Alley and Donny Dash play Barfly, 4062A Boulevard St Laurent, Friday, April 14th, 9:00pm, free.


Stevenson + Fire/Works + Désiré Renard

On Thursday you can head over to Le Cactus (the temporary home of L’Escogriffe) where local Montreal based and self-descirbed “Downer Pop” duo Stevenson will be playing in support of the launch of their first full length album Sadboyz. Joining them for this show will be two other local acts, Fire/Works and Désiré Renard.

It’s really hard to categorize Stevenson’s music as one thing so it’s probably best to check out a few of their songs to get the full meaning of Downer Pop.

Stevenson, Fire/Works and Désiré Renard play Le Cactus, 4461 Rue Saint-Denis, Thursday, April 13th, 8:30pm, $10 at the door.


Wolf Eyes + Drainolith + Gashrat + Nyon

The Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival’s offseason programming is in full swing and on Monday, they’re bringing Detroit’s Wolf Eyes to La Vitrola along with three local acts: Drainolith, Gashrat and Nyon.

For an idea of what you’re in for if you go, give a listen to the headliners'”heavy, discordant and psycho jazz”

Wolf Eyes, Drainolith, Gashrat and Neon  play La Vitrola, 4602 Boul. St-Laurent, Tuesday, April 18th, 9:30pm, $15 at the door.


* Featured image of the Lef7overs via Facebook

* Know a band or an artist that should be featured in Shows This Week? Maybe a show FTB should cover, too? Let us know at Our week goes from Thursday to Wednesday, so let us know by the preceding Sunday, though not too much in advance, or you may get lost in the shuffle. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!