Persons under the influence of alcohol are more likely to be injured and are more likely to sustain a serious injury. Alcohol intoxication impairs motor function compromising balance and movement and slowing reaction times. Alcohol also impairs judgement which can lead to risk-taking behaviour and affects emotions which can lead to violence or self-harm.
- In Canada, suicide and motor vehicle collisions were the leading and second-leading cause of alcohol-related deaths respectively, after cirrhosis.
- In Alberta, 4.1% of drivers involved in injury crashes were judged to have consumed alcohol prior to the crash, compared to 19.6% of drivers involved in fatal collisions.
- Males between 18 and 24 years of age were most likely to have been drinking before the crash.
- There were almost 4 times as many male drivers as female drivers who had consumed alcohol prior to the collision.
- Both acute and chronic alcohol use are associated with suicide behaviour.
- In Alberta, from 2002-2008, 59% of ATV-related fatalities tested for alcohol consumption tested positive; 94% were males. Seventy-eight per cent of all alcohol-positive tests were over the legal limit of (0.08 per cent).
- In Alberta from 2002 to 2006, 45% of the fatally-injured snowmobile operators tested for alcohol consumption were positive.
- In Alberta, alcohol was a factor in 48% of spousal abuse incidents in 2003; in 24% of the incidents, both parties had consumed alcohol.
- Stop alcohol and drug impaired driving. Make a plan. Report impaired drivers.
- Follow Canada's Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.
- Do not consume alcohol when performing high-risk tasks or when in roles of responsibility.
It is the position of the Centre (formerly ACICR) that the Government of Alberta should incorporate a 0.05% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing impaired driving. This should be done through the imposition of administrative sanctions by the province such as license suspensions and fines that escalate with subsequent offenses for driving with a BAC of over 0.05%. This would bring Alberta in line with other Canadian provinces and send a clear message to drivers that driving while impaired by alcohol will not be tolerated. We recommend that the BAC level for Criminal Code offences remain at 0.08%.
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