Impaired Driving

Impaired driving continues to take a deadly toll on our roads. Impairment includes alcohol, illicit drugs and medications.

In an average year in BC:

  • 68 people die in motor vehicle crashes involving impaired driving.
  • Impairment remains a leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C. 
  • Approximately 24% of motor vehicle fatalities are related to impaired driving.

Other impaired driving stats to keep in mind:

  • Most impaired-related crashes (56%) occur on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
  • 38% take place between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
  • 70% of all impaired drivers in crashes are male.
  • 16 - 25 year olds account for 26% of impaired drivers in crashes but only 13% of all drivers in B.C.

If you plan to drink, leave your vehicle at home. Plan ahead for a safe ride home. Arrange for a sober designated driver, have money for transit or taxi, a place to stay overnight, or a friend or family member you can call for a ride.

10 Signs of a Suspected Impaired Driver

1. Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at inconsistent speed

2. Slowly driving in and out of lanes

3. Driving without headlights, failing to lower high-beams or leaving turn signals on

4. Tailgating and changing lanes frequently at excessive speeds

5. Making wide turns, changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance

6. Overshooting, stopping well before or disregarding signals and signs

7. Approaching signals or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly

8. Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather

9. Stopping without cause in a live traffic lane

10. Driving in a low gear for no apparent reason or frequently grinding gears

Reporting an Impaired Driver

If driving, safely pull over and park or have a passenger call 911 with the following information:

  • Location
  • Description of vehicles (licence plate, colour, make and model)
  • Direction of travel
  • Description of observed driver behaviour (swerving, etc.)
  • Description of driver and other vehicle occupants
  • Estimated time delay

When phoning 911, you will reach a call-taker who works in partnership with a dispatcher. While the call-taker is asking you specific questions, the information being recorded is also being sent electronically to a dispatcher who is assigning the call to the police. The call-takers and dispatchers receive extensive training for their rolls. The process and types of questions they ask of callers is to obtain the most amount of information in an orderly, efficient and timely process.

Visit MADD Canada to learn how to get involved in your community, victim support and program details.

Visit ICBC to learn more facts on impaired driving.