Drunk driving among youth still at epidemic levels in Canada

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Drunk driving is something of an epidemic in Canada and the most affected victims are youth. Brand new drivers around the age of 16 are the least likely group to drive drunk, but statistics tells us that youth just 3 years older (19) are way more likely to get behind the wheel when impaired. Another scary fact is that vehicular accidents are responsible for the majority of deaths among 15-25 year olds, and half of those are a result of alcohol consumption. Young drivers are also found to be at fault in most drunk driving incidents.

Due to lack of experience, young drivers in most Canadian provinces are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system when driving. Reassuringly, statistics tell us that as a result of the zero BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) laws have reduced impaired driving incidents by 25%.

Via MADD

  • Older Teens: Of all the young drinking drivers who are killed or seriously injured, the smallest proportion is 16 years of age. The largest proportion is 19 years of age.
  • Males: Account for 87% of the young fatally injured drinking drivers and 89% of the seriously injured drinking drivers.
  • Summertime: Young drinking drivers are most likely to be killed or injured in the summer (32.4% and 40.8% respectively) and least likely to be killed or injured in the winter (8% and 11.4% respectively).
  • Weekend: A large percentage of young drinking drivers die or are seriously injured on the weekend.
  • Night time: The vast majority of young drinking drivers die or are seriously injured in crashes at night.

Impaired driving, which means driving while your ability is affected by alcohol or drugs, is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. If convicted, you can lose your license, be fined, or spend time in jail. Your vehicle does not even have to be moving; you can be charged if you are impaired behind the wheel, even if you have not started to drive.

What young and even experienced drivers need to understand is that even if you think you know your limits, it is still a bad idea to get behind the wheel. Alcohol can start affecting your movement and reflexes after only a few drinks. The other key point is that you are not only endangering yourself, but every other motorist sharing the road with you.

With buses, designated drivers, and taxis, it is easy to plan a fun night out without the need to drive a car.

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Sobriety Foundation

Drunk driving among youth still at epidemic levels in Canada

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