Drunk driving remains prevalent in Alberta, according to a new Statistics Canada report.

The province ranks second among the 10 provinces in drunk driving numbers, behind only Saskatchewan, with 314 instances per 100,000 people recorded in 2015.

But it’s not all bad news.

Alberta’s drunk driving rates are down nine per cent from 2014, compared to an overall four per cent decline across Canada.

In the 30 years since Statistics Canada started collecting comparable data, impaired driving has dropped 74 per cent in Alberta versus 65 per cent nationwide.

“Alberta is high but it’s getting better,” said analyst Samuel Perreault.

The three territories also have higher drunk driving rates than Alberta.

Edmonton specifically placed seventh highest of 34 cities, while Calgary placed 20th, falling below the national average.

But Perreault said those numbers don’t tell the whole story. In fact, digging deeper seems to flip stats between the two cities.

Calgary recorded nine impaired driving deaths in 2015, compared to three in Edmonton. And in self-reported data from 2014, almost twice as many Calgarians admitted drinking and driving in the last 12 months.

The contrast could be explained by Edmonton police putting more focus or acting more effectively to catch impaired drivers, Perreault said.

“Police enforcement and practice could be something that could explain at least part of the difference,” he said.

Numbers have dropped the most among Canada's “at-risk” populations, specifically drivers under 25 years old and men – though men still make up 80 per cent of drunk drivers.

The report measured recidivism for the first time, using 2014 data, and determined that drivers who reported drinking and driving more than once were responsible for 97% of self-reported drinking and driving incidents.


72,039: Number of impaired driving incidents police reported across Canada in 2015

575: Number of impaired driving incidents per 100,000 population in Saskatchewan. That’s nearly twice as high as Alberta (314)

7.3: Percentage of Canadian motorists who play a team sport and self-reported drinking and driving in the past year. That’s almost twice as high as those who don’t play team sports (3.9 per cent) – but not as high as people who golf (10 per cent).

Source: Metro News


Last updated on: 2017-01-14 | Link to this post