Impaired driving rates in Canada have been declining steadily, dropping by 42% since 1998. But that’s the nation wide average, and it doesn’t really show you what’s happening in individual provinces and cities in Canada. Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening on the roads in a few areas.
2015 was a big year for RCMP in Nova Scotia, but not in the way they might have hoped. They arrested over 1,000 impaired drivers across the province in 2015, and they’re struggling with a stubborn impaired driving record that’s staying well above the national Canadian average.
Nova Scotia had 217 impaired driving charges per 100,000 people, while Canada had 167 impaired driving charges per 100,000 people. That’s only a 25 percent drop in impaired driving rates since 1998 for Nova Scotia.
The Calgary police released their impaired driving arrest data for 2015 and they were happy to report their drunk driving arrests were down. 2500 people were stopped for impaired driving in 2014 and 2080 in 2015, and they also reported a lower fatality rate for impaired driving crashes.
British Columbia has been in the news for the past few years because of their controversial impaired driving laws. The Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRP) has been the most talked about, with challenges against it that have gone all the way to the Supreme Court of BC.
Despite the controversy, the city of Vancouver has reported that the number of Immediate Roadside Prohibitions has dropped steadily year after year. In 2013 there were 1300 IRP, but 2015 only saw 1,000. Vancouver police attribute the drop to people being educated enough to understand that drinking and driving is dangerous and are looking for safer rides home.
Canada still has thousands of drivers driving impaired on the roads at any given time, and although some spots are showing a decline, it’s safe to say that the impaired driving problem in Canada isn’t going away anytime soon.