Just how many alcoholic drinks do Canadians consume on a daily, weekly, or yearly average? That’s the million-dollar question explored in the National Post recently, and the answer probably won’t surprise you.
According to the National Post, 80% of Canadians drink
Not only do nearly 22 million people drink alcohol every year, recent studies have shown that Canadians are drinking more than they should be. There are low-risk guidelines from Canadian Health agencies, and 18.8% of Canadians exceed those limits. The average Canadian drank approximately 469 drinks in 2014, and that number is down slightly from the late 1980’s when they drank approximately 502 drinks per year.
Drinking and driving laws slowed down consumption in the 1990s
If drinking was at an all time high in the 1980’s, the 90s were the decade when drinking started to slow down. That slow down had a lot to do with a shift in public perception of drinking and strict drinking and driving laws.
By 1999, Canadian impaired driving laws were harsh and on the cusp of getting harsher. A first impaired driving offense where the offender blew over .08 resulted in a 12 to 36 month driver’s license suspension, fines up to $2,000, and jail time up to 6 months. Ignition interlock programs were available in some areas, and if they were available, some offenders could reduce their driver’s license suspensions if they installed one.
Other interesting findings from the National Post’s research on how Canadians drink includes:
- Canadians spend over 20.5 billion dollars on alcohol
- 5% of all alcoholic drinks are consumed during the week
- Out of all the alcohol people drink, beer is the beverage most consumed, weighing in at 57% compared to wine coming in at 42%
- Female drinking is on the rise, with 35% of women drinking compared to 65% of men
Summer is right around the corner, so it’s a good time to take a look at your own drinking habits and decide if you need to cut back. And remember: for your own safety and the safety of others on the road with you, don’t drink and drive.