Sadly, only one in five residents of a Canadian province believe that drunk driving isn’t an issue until someone dies.
According to CBC News, Mainstream Research found that the majority of 18- to 34-year-olds were the group that thought drunk driving was the most “OK.” Roughly 19% said that they’re fine with drinking and then driving as long as it’s only for a short drive and on an unpopulated road.
About four percent said they’re not sure how they feel about it and 77% said it’s unacceptable.
“It’s important to remember, however, that there is a certain amount of social desirability bias,” said David Valentin, executive vice-president of Mainstreet Research. He believes that the real number of people who believe drunk driving isn’t that bad is actually much higher. “Sometimes respondents are not as truthful when answering these sorts of questions.”
Everyday, fewer than 4,000 people are arrested for drunk driving even though there are about 300,000 drunk drivers out on the road.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) immediately responded to these polling results.
“It’s disappointing but it’s not surprising,” said Wendell Waldron, a community leader with MADD. “We don’t view drinking and driving as a matter of consequence until someone actually dies.”
Andrew Cartmell, the CEO of SGI, is disappointed in Saskatchewan’s poll results as well.
“It is the number one problem in terms of fatalities on Saskatchewan roads,” Cartmell added. “Driving attitudes and behaviors in this province really need to change and it needs to come from drivers themselves.”
The results of this poll come about a week prior to a former Saskatchewan deputy premier pleading guilty to drunk driving charges.
Globe and Mail reports that Don McMorris pleaded guilty to having a blood-alcohol level (BAC) over .08, which is two and a half times the legal amount.
“I would do anything if I could change that day, but I can’t,” said McMorris. “I need to make some changes in my life and I’m committed to that, so that this never, ever happens again.”