The latest in a string of fatal drunk driving crashes in Calgary has police and safety advocates shaking their heads.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in a collision near the intersection of 17th Avenue and 37th Street S.W. Wednesday night that killed three people in their 30s.

The driver, who was taken to hospital in critical condition, faces charges.

Police say there have been 18 fatal collisions involving alcohol so far this year. There were 15 in all of 2012.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” said traffic Sgt. Mike ter Kuile.

“I can tell you as one of the traffic response unit sergeants, any one of those fatalities where you’re commanding the team that has to investigate and then has to do the door knock in the middle of the night to let someone know that their loved one or loved ones will not be returning home ever again, that’s one fatality too many."

Denise Dubyk, the past president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), also said the continued carnage is frustrating.

“I have to say I’m angry. I really am.... To see these numbers rising, to see the crashes that we hear about week after week, I just don’t understand why people are not listening to our message,” she said.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why some Calgarians are not getting the message that drinking and driving is a deadly combination, ter Kuile said.

One factor is Calgary’s fast-growing population bringing in people from different places and cultures, he said.

“We’re getting a lot of influence from across the country and in fact internationally. People are coming into the community, and where they’re getting their education is unknown."