MADD Canada

MADD Canada

December 11, 2007 09:41 ET

Report Reveals Support For Strong Stand Against Impaired Driving

Vast majority of Canadians want governments to re-invigorate the fight against impaired driving

Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2007) - With progress on reducing impaired driving fatalities having stalled since 1999, the Canadians are increasingly concerned about the mounting human carnage on our roads and are looking to federal and provincial governments to introduce stronger countermeasures such as ignition interlocks, random breath testing, and lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits to combat the crime.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) says the Canadian public is far more forward-looking than its elected officials and calls for a comprehensive review of federal and provincial governments' impaired driving laws that will consider both proven technologies and effective countermeasures.

"This is a real wake-up call for our legislators," says Margaret Miller, MADD Canada National President, commenting on the 2007 impaired driving survey report, released today by Transport Canada. "This report clearly signals that federal and provincial governments must step up their efforts to eliminate impaired driving. There is strong public support for governments to strengthen countermeasures that will enhance detection and apprehension, stop repeat offenders, and ensure greater police enforcement of impaired driving laws."

The vast majority of Canadians (91 %) view impaired driving as the country's greatest road safety concern and one that governments need to deal with as a priority issue. Almost 9 in 10 Canadians overwhelmingly support countermeasures to eliminate the crime: vehicle confiscation, zero BAC for drivers under the legal drinking age, mandatory breath testing at fatality crash scenes, are some of the most popular measures cited.

Other key findings in the report reveal Canadians want governments to re-think their approach and look to new countermeasures.

-- Two-thirds of Canadians (66%) think police should be allowed to randomly breath test
-- More than 8 in 10 Canadians (83%) want alcohol ignition interlocks in convicted impaired drivers vehicles
-- A majority of Canadians (56 %) want alcohol ignition interlocks installed in all new cars and are willing to pay extra for this to happen
-- A strong majority of focus group participants favoured lowering the BAC limit to .05% when it was explained that police routinely charge at no less than 0.10 % BAC and that this limit allows a 'surprisingly large' amount of alcohol consumption

Both the full report and a summary of its key findings can be found on www.madd.ca

MADD Canada's Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie comments, "It is unacceptable that our governments are not embracing the accepted international research and the legislative and technological solutions available to us today. For example, there're proven alcohol interlock technologies, effective roadside licence suspension and vehicle impoundment programs. There's the international experience with random breath testing that shows this is a very effective way to reduce impaired driving."

"The public wholly supports implementing a whole range of countermeasures and this report is a call for governments to begin introducing more effective, more comprehensive impaired driving laws," and he adds, "What we need now is a federal-provincial review of our impaired driving laws. We need governments to re-invigorate the fight, to enact new laws, and to reach to meet Canadians' challenge of eliminating this preventable crime in our society."

The 2007 impaired driving report was commissioned by Transport Canada and MADD Canada. It includes both public opinion surveys as well as focus group findings conducted by EKOS Research Associates.

For more information, visit www.madd.ca
/For further information: www.madd.ca
Margaret Miller, National President @ 902-758-2442/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS, SOCIAL, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

  • Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Phone: 800-665-6233 ext. 224
    E-mail: amurie@madd.ca