A new poll from Mainstreet Research/Postmedia has found one-in-five Albertans would consider driving under the influence on a short, quiet road.
Around six per cent of Edmontonians said they have driven under the influence of alcohol, but 87 per cent said they have never.
Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet, tells 630CHED’s Ryan Jespersen, that number could be even higher.
“Types of behaviour like this tend to underreport,” explains Maggi. “The final one saying, is it ok, a short distance on a quite road, almost one-in-five people, 18 per cent, saying that it is ok.”
When looking at Edmonton specifically, 14 per cent said they would considering impaired driving if it was a quite road and a short distance.
Maggi says awareness campaigns have been around for a long time.
“Surely the people who have first-hand experience of these things know what it can lead to and the tragedies that occur, it does make the news all the time, but these stats are actually up,” explains Maggi. “According to Stats Canada the last couple of years, it continues to be a very big problem.”
That’s compared to 18 per cent in Calgary and 19 per cent outside of the two major cities.
Maggi says it appears horror stories about driving under the influence have not been enough for some Albertans.
“Obviously with public awareness campaigns, that have been out for 30-plus years, about the horrors that can happen when people drive under the influence, apparently still hasn’t quite sunk in to people,” explains Maggi.
Maggi says Canada has the worst rates of roadway deaths linked to drunk driving, according to the Center for Disease Control.
He adds Alberta has taken steps to fight impaired driving but it seems more work is needed to change societal opinions.
Mainstreet surveyed a random sample of 2,497 Albertans by Smart IVR on November 12th and 13th, asking respondents on a mix of landlines and cell phones. (twd, Ryan Jespersen Show)