Oakville, Ontario – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada is calling on the provinces to extend their graduated licensing programs, in light of a new study that recommends zero blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers under the age of 21.
The study was written by Erica Chamberlain and Robert Solomon, professors at the University of Western Ontario. It found that drivers 18 to 20 years old are dramatically overrepresented in alcohol-related deaths and injuries, and while many provincial graduated licensing programs (GLP) include a zero or low BAC restriction, the fatalities occur after the GLP restrictions are lifted, often around the age of 18 or 19.
“Extending the zero BAC restriction will make a significant impact on the numbers of young driver fatalities,” said MADD Canada CEO Andrew Murie. “Statistics show this is the age group that typically has a higher level of alcohol consumption and are more prone to binge drinking. It makes sense to keep the zero BAC restriction in place until drivers are beyond this person in their lives.
“We have this policy as a cornerstone of our ‘Rating the Provinces’ reports and we were very supporting of the province of Manitoba, which was the first to impose a zero BAC limit for the first five years of licensure. We’re pleased to see Nova Scotia and some other jurisdictions looking to implement similar licensing programs.”