Oakville, Ontario – Holiday festivities will be in full swing this weekend, and MADD Canada and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada are asking everyone to give the gift of safety by always driving sober.

“No one’s holiday season should turn from celebration to tragedy because a person gets behind the wheel impaired by alcohol, cannabis or other drugs,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. “If everyone makes the commitment to never drive impaired, we can have a safe holiday season that is free from impaired driving crashes. That is our holiday wish for everyone.”

The risk for impaired driving is high at this time of year, as social calendars are filled with holiday parties and celebrations. Every person can help prevent impaired driving tragedies by:

  • Never driving impaired. Plan ahead for a sober ride home – book an Uber, call a cab, take public transit or arrange a designated driver.
  • Never riding with drivers who are impaired by alcohol, cannabis or other drugs.
  • Calling 911 if you see a driver you suspect is impaired.

“Allstate Canada and our agents all across the country join MADD Canada in asking everyone to do their part in helping keep our roads safe,” said Allstate Insurance Company of Canada President and CEO Ryan Michel. “The only flickering lights we want to see this holiday season are from decorations, and not those of emergency vehicles responding to an impaired driving crash.”

This holiday season is the first since the legalization of cannabis. MADD Canada, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada and police services around the country to reminding people that cannabis can impair driving abilities and are urging anyone who is consuming to leave the driving to someone sober.

This holiday season also marks the introduction of mandatory alcohol screening, which went into effect on December 18. The new law, passed as part of Bill C-46 in June, authorizes police to demand a breath sample from any driver lawfully pulled over. It greatly increases the number of drivers screened for impairment, resulting in more impaired drivers being detected. Equally important, it greatly increases the perception that if you drive impaired, the chance of getting caught is high. Globally recognized as one of the most effective means of reducing impaired driving, it has achieved significant reductions in impaired driving in numerous other countries. MADD Canada estimates that mandatory alcohol screening will reduce impaired driving by 20% in Canada. That is 200 lives saved and more than 12,000 injuries prevented each year.

MADD Canada’s holiday awareness campaign, Project Red Ribbon, is underway across the country. Sponsored by Allstate Canada, the campaign involves hundreds of MADD Canada volunteers

distributing red ribbons and red ribbon car decals for the public to display as a symbol of their commitment to always drive safe and sober. The ribbons also serve as a powerful tribute to the thousands of Canadians killed and injured in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs each year. Ribbons and car decals are available through the MADD Canada web site at madd.ca, Chapters and Community Leaders, and participating sponsor outlets. Anyone who wishes to support Project Red Ribbon with a donation can do so online through the web site, by calling 1-800-665-6233 or by texting “RIBBON” to 45678 (a one-time $10 donation is added to the donor’s cell phone bill and payable to his or her service provider.)

Those looking for a safe, sober and reliable ride home at the push of a button can check out Uber, MADD Canada’s Official Designated Driving App. Visit https://www.uber.com/partner/en-ca/madd-canada/ for more information.

About MADD Canada

MADD Canada is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. To learn more, visit www.madd.ca.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is a leading home and automobile insurer focused on providing our valued customers prevention and protection products and services for every stage of life. Serving Canadians since 1953, Allstate strives to keep our customers and employees in “Good Hands®”. We are proud to have been named a Best Employer in Canada for seven consecutive years. Allstate is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it we operates and has partnered with organizations such as MADD Canada, United Way and Junior Achievement. To learn more, visit www.allstate.ca. For safety tips and advice, visit www.goodhandsadvice.ca.

For more information, contact:

Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager, 1-800-665-6233, ext. 240 or dkelly@madd.ca. Anna Weigt-Bienzle, Senior Communications Specialist, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 905-475-4527 or aweigtbienzle@allstate.ca.