Drug use among drivers in Canada

Roadside surveys have been conducted periodically in British Columbia, Canada since 1995 as a surveillance tool to gather reliable and valid estimates of the prevalence of alcohol use by nighttime drivers. With concerns about the consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs coming to the forefront of public attention, the roadside survey conducted in 2008 was the first to introduce drugs into the testing protocol. Two subsequent surveys have also included drug testing. Using the combined data from three roadside surveys (conducted in 2008, 2010 and 2012), we examined the characteristics of drivers who tested positive for drugs and the circumstances under which the behaviour occurred. The method for all three roadside surveys followed a standard protocol. There were a total of 4711 drivers that voluntarily participated and provided both an oral fluid sample and a breath sample. It was found that 3928 (83.4 per cent) were negative for both drugs and alcohol, 382 (8.1 per cent) were positive for drugs only, 320 (6.8 per cent) were positive for alcohol only and 81 (1.7 per cent) were positive for both drugs and alcohol. Results indicate that the characteristics of drug-drivers and the patterns of drug use by drivers differed from the well-known patterns of drinking and driving. The most common drug detected was cannabis followed by cocaine. This information makes a vital contribution to the development of effective enforcement, public education and awareness programs.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 127- 32
  • Monograph Title: 20th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference Proceedings, 25-28 August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495649
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2013 10:11AM