EDMONTON — Some of Canada’s biggest brewers are coming together in the fight against impaired driving.
Beer Canada, which represents 32 brewers across the country—including Molson, Labatt and Sleeman, launched its “Partners for Safer Communities” initiative Friday. The joint campaign aims to reduce the number of people drinking and driving by promoting the use of designated drivers.
“Although we’re individual brewers in a fiercely competitive industry, there’s strength in putting our differences aside and taking action together to promote responsible drinking,” said John Sleeman, founder of Sleeman Breweries and chairman of Beer Canada.
“We know that 85 per cent of Canadians follow Health Canada’s safe drinking guidelines, it’s that other 15 per cent that we really want to get through,” added Jeff Ryan with Labatt Breweries.
About 1,500 brewery employees will visit close to 2,500 establishments across Canada asking people to take the pledge not to drink and drive. For every pledge made, a donation will be made to “Change the Conversation,” an organization that creates awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.
Police in Edmonton are involved in the initiative and said they are “nowhere near” their goal of zero impaired drivers on the road.
“We don’t see a steady decrease throughout the years,” said Const. Kathy Nelson. “One month may be lower than another month, one checkstop may be lower than another checkstop, but in all honesty we’re not really seeing a dramatic decrease.”
Nelson said it appears there is a shift in attitude, though, as they have seen an increase in the number of people reporting possible impaired drivers through their “Curb the Danger” program.
“We make those priority one calls, we respond to them and often we are getting impaired drivers off the road,” she added.
In August, RCMP said a recent study showed each night, on average, one in 33 drivers on Alberta roads is impaired.