December 13, 2007

New report reveals public support for strong stand against impaired driving, MADD says

Oakville, Ontario – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada says that a new report released by Transport Canada shows the Canadian public is far more forward-looking than its elected officials when it comes to measures to reduce impaired driving. MADD is also calling for a comprehensive review of federal and provincial impaired driving laws that will consider both proven technologies and effective countermeasures.

“This is a real wake-up call for our legislators,” said Margaret Miller, MADD Canada National President. “This report clearly signals that federal and provincial governments must step up their efforts to eliminate impaired driving. There is strong public support for governments to strengthen countermeasures that will enhance detection and apprehension, stop repeat offenders, and ensure greater police enforcement of impaired driving laws.”

The report says that 91 per cent of Canadians view impaired driving as the country’s greatest road safety concern, and one that governments need to deal with as a priority issue. Almost 9 in 10 Canadians overwhelmingly support countermeasures to eliminate the crime, including vehicle confiscation, zero blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers under the legal drinking age, and mandatory breath testing at fatality crash scenes.

The report also found that 66 per cent of Canadians think police should be allowed to randomly breath-test; 83 per cent want alcohol ignition interlocks in convicted impaired drivers’ vehicles; 56 per cent want alcohol ignition interlocks installed in all new cars, and are willing to pay extra for this to happen; and a strong majority of focus group participants favoured lowering the BAC limited to .05 per cent when it was explained that police routinely charge at no less than 0.10 per cent BAC, a limit that allows a “surprisingly large” amount of alcohol consumption.

The 2007 impaired driving report was commissioned by Transport Canada and MADD Canada, and includes public opinion surveys and focus group findings.

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