It’s something that’s rarely been said, but now that it’s out in the open, it kind of makes sense: people who play team sports are more likely to drink and drive.
Ouch. It doesn’t seem fair. Team sports are the province of all that is healthy in society. Exercise. Teamwork. Friendship.
Nevertheless, when Statistics Canada released its Impaired Driving in Canada 2015 report, it included the information that “individuals who play team sports are more likely to drink and drive.”
According to data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, more than 7 percent of individuals who played a team sport reported driving after drinking, compared with 3.9 percent of inactive individuals.
Some sports were worse than others. Golfers drove impaired at a rate of 10 percent, and skiiers at 8.5 percent.
Before you deflate your football, it’s worth considering what might be the causing sportspeople to show up so poorly on the roads. Social contact is a big factor. Sports like golfing, skiing and snowboarding have a large social component – there is much gathering and drinking afterwards, and impaired driving can become part of the ritual.
In fact, back in October the Stephenville Dome in Newfoundland imposed a ban on locker-room drinking, a practice which has become a tradition in some leagues.
There will be no major laws passed in response to this information, and that’s just as well. There could, however, be some increased awareness that where there are sports, there is drinking, and precautions should be taken. It’s already being done with audiences at large events like the Calgary Stampede, at which drinking hours are monitored and impaired driving has dropped considerably.
Step 1: if you’re on a team, don’t drink and drive, and make sure your mates don’t either. If everyone does that, we won’t need to move to step 2.