MADD Canada

MADD Canada

September 12, 2012 10:15 ET

MADD Canada, LCBO Launch "Long Weekend" School Assembly Program to Educate Ontario Students About the Dangers of Impaired Driving

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2012) - Partying with friends over a long weekend at the cottage is a tradition many young Canadians have enjoyed at one time or another. For most, the fun lasts all weekend long and then everyone makes it home safely. But for those who mix drinking, drugs and driving, it could be the last long weekend of their lives.

Long Weekend, MADD Canada's 2012-2013 School Assembly Program, explores how a bad decision can take the weekend from fun to tragic in mere seconds. The program officially launched in Ontario today as MADD Canada and provincial partner LCBO hosted a special screening for students at Etobicoke's Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School.

Long Weekend follows Brian, his brother Malcolm, girlfriend Jessica and best friend Raj on a trip to the cottage. The friends are drinking, smoking pot and making increasingly risky decisions. The weekend takes a horrific turn when an impaired Brian drives into town with Jessica. The fictional story is then followed by the real-life stories of three people who were killed in impaired driving crashes.

"When we talk about raising awareness and changing impaired driving behaviours, teens and young adults are a key audience," said MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk. "Our School Assembly Program shows students that impaired driving is simply not worth the risk. It provides them with the information they need to develop safe and sober driving habits which will keep them safer, now and into adulthood. We don't want to lose any more young people to impaired driving crashes."

Impaired driving takes a huge toll on Canadian youth:

  • Nearly 50 per cent of all road crash deaths involving 15 to 24 year olds are alcohol-related.

  • In 2009, approximately 350 young people were killed and 41,000 were injured in impairment-related crashes.

  • Also in 2009, 16-25 year olds constituted just 13.7 per cent of the population, but accounted for nearly 31.1 per cent of all alcohol-related crash deaths.

Ms. Dubyk noted the important role that LCBO, its customers and staff play in supporting MADD Canada's efforts to reduce the toll impaired driving takes on young people.

"Each year, LCBO customers are asked by staff to contribute to MADD Canada and our program to educate youth about impaired driving," Ms. Dubyk said. "Each year, they surpass all expectations. Thanks to their efforts, we will be able to deliver 900 Long Weekend presentations to schools throughout Ontario, at no charge whatsoever to the schools. We simply couldn't do this without their generous support which this year totalled $1.27 million."

"Our customers and staff are truly concerned about the safety of youth in our communities across the province so it's no surprise we were able to raise a new record of $1.27 million for MADD Canada," said Bob Peter, LCBO President & CEO. "Because of their generosity, the School Assembly Program will deliver compelling content to 900 Ontario schools and more than half a million students at no cost this year. Through this program, we can empower youth to make responsible choices and help prevent impaired driving."

The School Assembly Program has been a cornerstone of MADD Canada's youth services since 1994. More than one million students will see Long Weekend, and the French language program called Dommages, across Canada during the 2012-2013 school year.

Contact Information

  • For more information about Long Weekend, please contact:
    MADD Canada
    Denise Dubyk
    National President
    403 970-8733

    Stephanie Petroff
    Senior Communications Consultant
    416 864-6792