SOURCE: MADD Canada

MADD Canada

September 15, 2015 10:30 ET

MADD Canada and LCBO Deliver Powerful Sober Driving Message to More Than Half a Million Ontario Students

OAKVILLE, ON--(Marketwired - September 15, 2015) - School is back and so is MADD Canada with its new, impactful anti-impaired driving program for students.

The 2015-2016 School Assembly Program, titled 24 Hours, begins its year-long tour of Ontario schools this month. MADD Canada and Provincial Partner LCBO launched the new film for students and staff at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic School in Etobicoke today.

24 Hours shows the fictional story of Michelle, Lainey and Nate as they attend a bush party dubbed "The End of the World." Getting into the spirit, the friends discuss what they would do if the end of world really was coming and they only had 24 hours to live. As designated driver on the night of the party, Nate agrees he won't drink any alcohol. But Lainey later catches him smoking pot. Now, with no designated driver, the friends end up in a vehicle with a person they trust to be sober. They could never imagine how significant their earlier conversation about their last day would become.

Road crashes are the number one cause of death among young people in Canada and more than 50 per cent of these deaths are alcohol and/or drug-related. Surveys of Ontario drivers in grades 10-12 show that large numbers of young people drove after drinking or using drugs, and even more rode in cars with drivers who had been drinking or using drugs. (Source: "Drug Use Among Ontario Students: 1977-2013", Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2013.)

"While the sober driving message is getting through to many young people, educating students in grades 7 - 12 about the dangers of impaired driving and empowering them to make safe choices for themselves and their friends is crucial to reducing their risk of crash, death and injury," said MADD Canada National President Angeliki Souranis.

As a Provincial Partner of the School Assembly Program, LCBO is instrumental in the production of the program and its delivery to more than half a million Ontario students in grades 7 - 12. Each December, LCBO, its customers and staff raise funds for the School Assembly Program through the Giving Back in Our Community in-store campaign. LCBO staff invite customers to add a donation to their purchases, or make a donation in the Project Red Ribbon donation boxes on store checkout counters. The campaign supports MADD Canada and four Ontario children's hospitals.

"LCBO's generous customers and staff have once again shown their strong commitment to helping educate youth about how to make responsible choices and help prevent impaired driving," said LCBO President and CEO Bob Peter. "Thanks to their support, LCBO was able to raise $2.3 million for MADD Canada's School Assembly Program and ensure its delivery to more than half a million Ontario students this year, at absolutely no cost to the schools."

"We are continually inspired and deeply grateful for the support we receive from the LCBO, its customers and its staff," said Ms. Souranis. "It's because of their generosity that we are able to reach all of these students and help prevent impaired driving."

Evidence shows that MADD Canada's strategies to reach young people are working. A 2013-2014 survey by Environics Research Group among students who had seen that year's School Assembly Program, titled Smashed, showed:

  • 81 per cent of students said it is not okay to drink any amount and drive. In the follow-up survey three months later, 82 per cent expressed the same feeling.
  • The great majority of students said they were not at all likely to accept a ride from someone who had consumed alcohol (80 per cent) or had used marijuana (87 per cent). In the follow-up survey three months later, the rate for alcohol remained the same while the rate for marijuana actually rose to 94 per cent.
  • Nearly all students who participated in the follow-up survey agreed that there would likely be consequences to drinking and driving, including getting into a crash (95 per cent), being injured or killed (94 per cent), and that the police would find out (94 per cent).

For more information, or to check out a clip from 24 Hours, please visit: http://www.madd.ca/madd2/en/services/youth_services_school_24hours.html

Note to Assignment Editors: For information on when 24 Hours is visiting your area, please contact Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager, at 1-800-665-6233, ext. 240 or dkelly@madd.ca.

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Angeliki Souranis
    MADD Canada National President
    Tel: 514-515-6233
    Email: asouranis@madd.ca

    Stephanie Petroff
    LCBO Senior Communications Consultant
    Tel: 416 864-6792
    Email: stephanie.petroff@lcbo.com