With the legalization of cannabis in Canada, there's a lot of concern around drug-impaired driving. In October, Desjardins promoted a campaign to raise awareness around the issue. But drinking and driving is still a major problem that is causing injuries and fatalities.

Desjardins worked with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), along with Beer Canada, to produce a fact sheet on drinking and driving that summarizes their annual Road Safety Monitor. And even though we've made considerable gains as a society in reducing drinking and driving, there are some warning signs that support the need for more education, awareness and deterrence.

Cause for concern

There's been great progress on reducing drunk driving in Canada. But the self-reported poll shares some troubling findings related to drinking and driving behaviour. From 2017 to 2018, the number of people who reported driving when they thought they were over the legal limited increased from 5.1% to 5.8% (compared to 9.1% in 1998). When it comes to fatalities, there were 19 more fatalities in 2015 (446) compared to 2014 (427). In 1998, there were 818 fatalities where a drunk driver was involved.

Figure 4
Where and with whom?

For those who thought they were over the limit, TIRF asked them where they were doing most of their drinking. Over 30% said a friend/relative's, 23% in their own home, 20% at a restaurant and almost 16% at a bar. When asked with whom they did they're drinking, 33% said close friends and 33% said their partner/family.

Figure 6
You can help save lives!

The research findings are a reminder that Canadians need to remain vigilant to eliminate drinking and driving.  And we can see that those who drive over the limit are drinking with friends and family. An important insight as it shows an opportunity for friends and family to change this dangerous behaviour.

Desjardins partners with organizations like TIRF and Arrive Alive to share this message and you can too. Help you and others plan a safe ride home by: 

  • Taking a taxi
  • Having a designated driver
  • Taking public transit or staying the night
Please, don't drink and drive and help your friends and family get home safely.

For the full survey from TIRF, visit:

For journalists only: John Bordignon