Status of Alcohol-Impaired Driving in Canada


The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) has released a new report on the Status of Alcohol-Impaired Driving in Canada. It was made possible with funding from Beer Canada through its continued support of Sober Smart Driving. The report examined current data and trends in alcohol-impaired driving across Canada. Progress that has been achieved is highlighted as well as specific areas where the problem persists. Trend analysis (excluding BC) revealed a 40% decline in the number of alcohol-related fatalities between 2000 and 2014, and a 34% reduction in the total number of all road fatalities. This trend is evident after controlling for the general downward trend that has occurred across all types of road crashes during this period.

The report also explored public perceptions about impaired driving in Canada. Concern about this issue has declined and enforcement challenges facing police have grown. This analysis underscored that impaired driving is a multi-faceted and complex social issue that continues to be an important public safety concern. As the initiative to legalize cannabis proceeds, it is critical that Canadian legislators, law enforcement, criminal justice professionals, and the general public are informed about the current status of alcohol-impaired driving in our country.

Alcohol-impaired driving has been a leading contributor to road crashes for three decades. Progress reducing crashes involving fatal and serious injuries has been achieved and, today, fewer Canadians self-report driving after drinking when they thought they were over the legal limit. While this outcome represents an important milestone, important facets of this issue require continued attention and Canadians should not become complacent about it.

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Project Status: Published

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