Survey reveals many Canadians still drink and drive
Published Wednesday, December 29, 2010 5:28PM EST
Despite intense education campaigns to curb drunk driving, a new poll suggests nearly one in four Canadians have climbed behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol.
The survey released Wednesday by the Canadian Automobile Association shows 24 per cent of those polled admitted to driving near or above the legal limit at some point this year. That's despite the fact that 98 per cent of respondents say drinking and driving is unacceptable.
Those most likely to say they had driven with blood alcohol levels near or above the legal limit were men, residents of Quebec and those under the age of 35, according to the poll.
"People know they shouldn't drink and drive, but an alarming number of us still do," stated Jeff Walker, vice president and chief strategy officer for CAA.
"The temptation is highest at this time of year, but Canadians need to listen to their conscience and not drink and drive."
Ontario reduced the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.05 from 0.08 in May 2009. Anyone who refuses a breath test or registers a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or more will face an immediate roadside suspension.
The rules for young drivers also changed this summer. If you're 21 or younger there is zero-tolerance for having alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
As New Year's Eve approaches, police are asking drivers to put away the keys if they plan to consume any alcohol.
In Ottawa, OC Transpo will offer free service on New Year's Eve between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. to encourage party-goers to get off the road.
The CAA survey polled 2,000 Canadians and is considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points 19 time out of 20.