June 14, 2004

BCAA sponsors annual “Dry Grad” program

Burnaby, British Columbia – Sixteen to 20 year old males account for the
second highest number of alcohol-related collisions, second only to 21 to 25
year old males, according to 2002 B.C. Collision Statistics – the most recent
data available.

The temptation to drink and drive might be more prevalent at this time of year during “grad season”, says the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA). For the 13th year, the association is sponsoring Dry Grad celebrations across B.C.

According to 2002 B.C. Collision Statistics, 304 drivers aged 16 to 20
were involved in injury and fatal alcohol-related collisions. Drivers in that
age group accounted for 16 per cent of the total number of B.C. drivers
involved in injury and fatal alcohol-related collisions, but accounted for
only seven per cent of the driving population.

“Impaired driving continues to be a serious problem in B.C. – especially
among young people,” says Bill Bullis, BCAA President and CEO. “We’re not
telling students not to celebrate. We’re just encouraging them to celebrate
safely so they can avoid being one of the statistics.”

Every year, BCAA donates a complimentary membership to 100 secondary
schools throughout B.C. holding Dry Grad celebrations attended by at least 50
per cent of the school’s graduating students. The membership can be used as a
gift, door prize or auction item. This year, BCAA has met its target of
providing memberships to 100 schools – participation that has remained
consistent since the program began in 1991.

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