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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 98, Issue 6, pp 476–480 | Cite as

Driving After Drinking in Canada

Findings from the Canadian Addiction Survey
  • Douglas J. BeirnessEmail author
  • Christopher G. Davis
Article
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Background

Despite substantial decreases in the magnitude of the alcohol-crash problem over the past 25 years, many Canadians continue to drive under the influence of alcohol, causing thousands of serious injuries and deaths every year.

Methods

Data from the 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey (CAS) were used to determine the prevalence of self-reported driving after drinking and the characteristics of those who engage in the behaviour.

Results

Overall, 11.6% of licensed drivers in Canada reported operating a vehicle within an hour of consuming two or more drinks containing alcohol. Less than 5% of licensed drivers accounted for 86% of the more than 20 million (estimated) past-year drinking and driving occurrences. Drinking Drivers reported more extensive and problematic use of alcohol, and were more likely to report illegal drug use relative to Non-drinking Drivers.

Conclusion

Driving after drinking remains a common behaviour among Canadian drivers. Those who persist in driving after drinking can be distinguished from other drivers on the basis of their greater use of alcohol and drugs. Those who drive after drinking frequently consume even greater quantities of alcohol on more frequent occasions and are more likely to experience problems as a result of their drinking. These findings suggest that countermeasure efforts need to be continued on all levels and expanded to specifically target high-risk heavy drinkers.

MeSH terms

Alcohol drinking accidents traffic risk taking 

Résumé

Contexte

En dépit de l’atténuation considérable du problème des accidents de la route liés à l’alcool depuis 25 ans, de nombreux Canadiens continuent de conduire avec les facultés affaiblies par l’alcool, ce qui cause chaque année des milliers de blessures graves et de décès.

Méthode

Des données de l’Enquête sur les toxicomanies au Canada (ETC) de 2004 ont été utilisées pour établir la prévalence de conducteurs ayant déclaré avoir pris le volant après avoir consommé de l’alcool et pour déterminer les caractéristiques des personnes qui ont ce comportement.

Résultats

Globalement, 11,6 % des Canadiens détenteurs d’un permis disaient avoir conduit un véhicule dans l’heure suivant la consommation de deux boissons alcoolisées ou plus. Sur les plus de 20 millions de cas (estimés) d’alcool au volant survenus au cours de l’année précédente, 86 % concernaient moins de 5 % des conducteurs détenteurs d’un permis. Les conducteurs en état d’ébriété avaient une consommation d’alcool plus importante et problématique et étaient relativement plus nombreux à consommer de la drogue que les conducteurs sobres.

Conclusion

La conduite en état d’ébriété demeure une pratique courante chez les conducteurs canadiens. Les récidivistes de l’alcool au volant se distinguent des autres conducteurs par leur plus forte consommation d’alcool et de drogue. Les conducteurs en état d’ébriété boivent à de plus fréquentes occasions et en plus grandes quantités, et ils sont plus susceptibles de subir des méfaits attribuables à leur consommation. Ces résultats semblent indiquer qu’il faut continuer à prendre des contre-mesures à tous les niveaux et en élargir la portée pour cibler les gros buveurs à risque élevé.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Canadian Centre on Substance AbuseOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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