Alcohol and Drug Presence in Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes

Crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs are the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. On average, approximately 4 people are killed each day in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs.

In 2012, there were 2,546 crash deaths. Of those, 1,497 deaths, or 58.8%, involved drivers who had some alcohol and/or drug presence in their systems.

  • 476 deaths, or 18.7%, occurred in crashes involving drivers with a positive alcohol reading.
  • 614 deaths, or 24.1%, occurred in crashes involving drivers with a positive drug reading. Cannabis was the drug most frequently found.
  • 407 deaths, or 16%, occurred in crashes involving drivers with positive readings for both alcohol and drugs.

Please note that these statistics document the presence of alcohol and/or drugs and do not reflect impairment levels.

The statistics reflect the growing rate of drug presence in drivers involved in fatal crashes. In fact, drugs are now present more often than alcohol in drivers involved in fatal crashes.

For more information, including provincial breakdowns of the above statistics and information on the data sources, please see: Total Crash Deaths Involving Alcohol and/or Drugs in Canada, by Jurisdiction, 2012.