About the Program
Effective Strategies to Reduce Impaired Driving

  1. What are other interested Canadian agencies doing to address impaired driving?

National initiatives:

Provincial/Territorial initiatives:

National initiatives

Beer Canada (BC)

A key focus of this association is to reduce impaired driving and to promote responsible drinking practices. Beer Canada has developed awareness campaigns that deal with a variety of responsible drinking issues including drinking and driving. Their campaigns include television and radio ads, print messages, brochures, and posters. Materials have been tailored towards a variety of targeted audiences and are designed to raise awareness of impaired driving issues (BC 2009). The advertisements reflect Beer Canada’s message to “Please Drink Responsibly” (BC 2009). The campaigns also focus on the need to think of others and to behave responsibly while drinking.

Beer Canada also supports the 24 hour, toll-free Alcohol and Substance Use Helpline operated by the Motherisk Program of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. It also observes trends in drinking and driving and public opinion through its sponsorship of the Road Safety Monitor, an annual public opinion poll conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation.
BC supports independent research through the Alcohol and Beverage Medical Research Foundation (ABMRF) and sponsorship of the annual Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise (FACE) Research Roundtable, which brings together Canada's top experts on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) to share research, discuss treatments, and to examine the lives of people living with the effects of FASD.

BC has taken the initiative to fund the Centre for Responsible Drinking; an organization that provides national alcohol-related information on issues such as drinking and driving, FASD, alcohol and youth, alcohol misuse, and alcohol and health. For more information, please visit the Centre’s website: http://www.responsibledrinking.ca/index_en.php?p=11  

For additional information about BC’s initiatives, please visit: http://www.beercanada.com/

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Brewing industry

As an active member of Beer Canada and L’Association des Brasseurs de Québec, Molson Canadian encourages responsible drinking, as well as celebrating smart choices around alcohol consumption. Over the last 30 years, Molson has supported responsible drinking. Some of their initiatives include:

  • 1989: Responsible Drinking launched “Take Care”
  • 1998: Partnership with 1-888-TAXIGUY
  • 1999: New tagline “Plan Ahead Don’t Drink and Drive
  • 2006: Partnership formed with Student Life Education Company

TAXIGUY is a hub of Molson Canadian’s “Don't Drink and Drive” awareness efforts. 1-888-TAXIGUY encourages people to plan before they go out to a location where alcohol may be available, and to take a cab home by calling the toll-free number. 1-888-TAXIGUY links callers directly to a taxicab company within their city, so that they can get a ride to their destination if they are unable to drive as a result of impairment. This service is available in 250 cities across Ontario. TAXIGUY has set up approximately 450,000 taxi rides across Canada. For all listings, please visit: http://www.taxiguy.com/

For more information on Molson’s initiatives, please visit: http://www.molsoncoorscanada.com/en/Community/ResponsibleDrinking.aspx

Labatt Canada was the first Canadian brewery to launch an alcohol moderation program as well as a "near-zero" alcohol beer. They were also the first brewery to collaborate with law enforcement agencies, student groups, and national TV networks to spread the message about alcohol abuse and moderating alcohol consumption. Labatt’s Know When to Draw the Line responsible drinking campaign is one of the longest running alcohol-related advertisements in Canada.

Labatt provides campus educational programs for responsible drinking and have partnered with major urban transportation systems to get people home safely with their "Ride Free on New Year's" programs. They have also launched Make a Plan which encourages responsible drinking by providing young adults with tips on getting home safely, appointing a designated driver, and being a good host.

For more information on Labatt’s initiatives, please visit: http://www.labatt.com/responsible/partnership.php

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) 

Mothers Against Drunk Driving works to eliminate driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. MADD has ongoing campaigns directed at fighting the occurrence of impaired driving which the public is encouraged to support. Some of their most recognized campaigns include:

  • Project Red RibbonCampaign, one of the most recognized campaigns run by MADD, is a public awareness movement that occurs from November to January. MADD volunteers across the country distribute red ribbons and ask Canadians to display a ribbon on their vehicle or personal item. The red ribbon displays that a personal commitment to drive sober is being made (MADD 2010).
  • Campaign 911, also labelled “operation lookout” by other organizations, is a Canada-wide campaign that encourages Canadians to call 911 if they suspect an impaired driver.
  • Enough is enough was created to bring the 'misunderstood' legal limits for impaired driving into focus for the public. MADD hopes that this will push the country's lawmakers to create effective impaired driving laws with more appropriate legal limits (MADD 2010).
  • 'If you’re high, you can’t drive' discourages driving after the use of drugs. The focus is on young Canadians as they currently pose the highest risk to the public as well as to themselves.
  • Taking back our roads is a publication of public and private research aimed to eliminate impaired driving in Canada. It focuses on providing the Federal government with necessary information on legislative steps it must take to effectively address the impaired driving problem in Canada (MADD 2010).

MADD has also produced videos and television ads to portray the impact that impaired driving has on the driver’s life, their family and friend’s lives, as well as that of the victim(s).  

A full list of other campaigns and initiatives run and supported by MADD can be viewed by visiting: http://www.madd.ca/

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Operation Red Nose

Operation Red Nose is a designated driver service offered in December to individuals who do not feel that they are capable of driving themselves home after consuming alcohol. The mission is to encourage responsible behaviour with regard to impaired driving in a non-judgmental manner by enabling communities to provide a free and confidential chauffeur service to their members.

While the service itself is free, donations are accepted. At the time of the organization’s founding in 1984, all donations went to the University of Laval swim team but today the financial benefits are redistributed to youth community organizations. Since 1984, more than $18,500,000 has been raised.

The organization has also expanded as it originally operated solely in Quebec (under the name Opération Nez Rouge). By 2009, the organization had spread to eight Canadian provinces as well as Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain.
Each year during the holiday season, an advertising campaign is launched to remind the public to utilize the services of Operation Red Nose. In 2009, more than 50,000 volunteers provided 73,193 rides which greatly cut down on the potential for impaired driving trips.

For more information about Operation Red Nose, please visit: http://www.operationrednose.com

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SMARTRISK Heroes™   

SmartRisk Heroes is a travelling road show that encourages young people to act safe and smart. The goal is to help youth see the risks in their everyday lives and to choose wisely. The SmartRisk Heroes show includes a DVD presentation with a live talk given by a young injury survivor who speaks about how the injury affected their life. The program's five key messages are:

  • Buckle Up;
  • Look First;
  • Wear the Gear;
  • Get Trained; and,  
  • Drive Sober.

For more information, please visit: http://www.smartrisk.ca

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Provincial/territorial initiatives

Reduced Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE)

The RIDE initiative was founded in 1977 as "Reduce Impaired Driving in Etobicoke". The program has now become a year-long, provincial campaign under the name Reduced Impaired Driving Everywhere. RIDE is led by the police community involving police spot checks for impaired drivers, as well as working with agencies to create impaired driving prevention programs and raising public awareness.

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arrive alive DRIVE SOBER

arrive alive DRIVE SOBER (formerly known as Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving (OCCID)), is an impaired driving initiative to reduce the occurrence of alcohol-related crashes in the province of Ontario. They work with stakeholders, as well as community partners to implement and support their anti-impaired driving movement.

The campaigns are sponsored by the provincial government and by the private sector. Some of these sponsors include The Beer Store, Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, and SmartServe Ontario.  

  • arrive alive phone application can be downloaded at the Apple store. It provides contact names and number for a designated driver: a friend, family member, taxi, or information on the local transportation system.
  • arrive alive DRIVE SOBER Campaign is organized to increase awareness about fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving. It also educates the public on prevention strategies to reduce impaired driving fatalities in Ontario. All messages promote awareness and alternatives to driving while impaired, such as planning ahead, drinking responsibly, designating a sober driver, calling home, take a cab, or staying overnight.
  • Choose Your Ride Campaign supports planning ahead on how you and your friends will safely return home.
  • Operation Lookout is a year-round awareness campaign encouraging the public to phone 911 when they suspect an impaired driver is on the road. 

Additional campaign information and project material can be downloaded at: http://www.arrivealive.org/.

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iDrive is a fairly new youth road safety program, presented as a video presentation, developed by the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving (OCCID), Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID), and the Student Life Education Company.

The program was created to raise awareness among drivers under the age of 25 about the risks and consequences of aggressive and unsafe driving including driving while impaired. The program is free for community police, public health workers, driving schools, and road safety advocates. It involves a combination of music, testimonials, celebrity endorsements, interviews with students, and dramatized scenarios.

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Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID); "Friends don't let friends drink and drive"

OSAID is a collective of students and adults that have collaborated to provided ideas and projects that schools can adopt to make their students aware of the consequences of impaired driving. Below are a few examples of how schools can make students aware:

  • B.A.R.F.  (Be A Responsible Friend) Bags – brown paper bags filled with anti-impaired driving information including stickers, bracelets, and contact information for a campaign ambassador.
  • Green Light Project keeps students aware of impaired driving within their community. Place a green light in your school and keep it lit. If an impaired driving crash occurs in your community replace the green bulb with a red bulb.
  • Run a mock trial to show students the severity and consequences of impaired driving. Construct a crash scenario at school; you then put the crash to trial and have the students be the actors. Try to get people who work in the court system to visit the school and talk about what really happens at the scene of a collision.
  • Awareness campaigns provide information about impaired driving, while providing ideas on alternative means of transportation after consuming alcohol.

OSAID also runs various campaigns throughout the year to increase impaired driving awareness. Some examples of these campaigns are:

  • Safe Season Campaign – as the occurrence of impaired driving can be higher during certain months, more awareness must be created during these times (such as prom in May or June, Christmas parties in December, etc.). The campaign relies on posters, presentations before school end for a seasonal vacation, and the distribution of BARF bags.
  • Call Me Cards – looks like a business card, but provides information on how to get home safely if you or your designated driver has been drinking. The information can include an emergency contact’s name, their telephone number, or a taxi number.

For additional information about OSAID programs and campaigns, please visit: http://www.osaid.org/ 

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Alberta Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)

OTS works with injury prevention and enforcement agencies, the trucking and insurance industries, impaired driving groups, school bus organizations, health representatives, and the provincial government to deliver programs to create safer roads within Alberta (OTS 2006). OTS provides information to the public, as well as to organizations about the consequences of impaired driving and intervention strategies that can be applied to impaired drivers.  

Alberta Transportation, in conjunction with OTS and the Provincial Impaired Driving Committee (PIDC), are working to reduce the incidence of drinking and driving in Alberta. Awareness and education are the foundations of their program, along with making changes to legislation and improving enforcement (OTS 2006). The Committee has played a key role in two impaired driving legislative changes – the Alberta administrative licence suspension program (AALS) and expanding the impaired driving window to 10 years from the existing five years (OTS 2006). For more information, please visit http://www.saferoads.com/drivers/impaired.html

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Ontario Against Drunk Drivers (OADD)

Ontario Against Drunk Driving (OADD) was founded in 1994 and is a non-profit organization whose goal is to reduce and eliminate drinking and driving in the province of Ontario. The organization uses a combination of public awareness campaigns as well as several impaired driving programs to inform people about the dangers of drinking and driving and the threat impaired drivers pose to the community. For more information about OADD, please visit: http://www.oadd.ca/

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Action Sudbury

Action Sudbury is a non-profit community organization comprised of individuals and agencies with a common goal of eliminating impaired driving in the Greater City of Sudbury (Action Sudbury 2009). Similar to OCCID, Action Sudbury also participates in Operation Lookout to encourage the public to call the police if they suspect a driver is impaired.

As of 2009, Action Sudbury has been involved in several initiatives to help reduce the occurrence of impaired driving. Some of the organization’s accomplishments include:

  • Action Sudbury has donated over $250,000 to help reduce impaired driving in the Sudbury region over the past 25 years.
  • The organization donated two alcohol screening devices to the Sudbury Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police to assist in apprehending impaired drivers.
  • Action Sudbury will spend $4000 for Summer Community Ride Checks by the Sudbury Police Service.

For more information about Action Sudbury and its initiatives, please visit: http://www.actionsudbury.org/

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