Motorists asked to save lives and choose to drive sober this holiday season during the Festive RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign kick-off event in Central Region, in partnership with Ontario Provincial Police, Barrie Police Service, South Simcoe Police Service, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Simcoe County and Victim Services of Simcoe County.
Those who choose to drive while impaired continue to risk innocent lives on Ontario roads. No amount of alcohol or drugs is safe when driving and driving under the influence of either is a criminal offence. In 2022, OPP officers in Central Region issued 1,757 impaired driving charges, and investigated 450 alcohol and/or drug related roadway collisions, of which seven were fatal and 109 resulted in injury.
Drivers are reminded that the Mandatory Alcohol Screening law allows police with an approved alcohol screening device to demand a roadside breath sample from any lawfully stopped driver without having reasonable suspicion that a driver is alcohol impaired. Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE) and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) officers are equipped with the skills and authority needed to detect impaired driving regardless of whether the impairment is a result of alcohol or drug consumption, or a combination of both.
As we enter the holiday season, if you plan on drinking or consuming drugs, plan to not drive. Instead, arrange for a designated driver, take a taxi, rideshare or public transit, or come up with another plan that eliminates impaired driving. Safe and responsible motorists on our roads ensure that everyone makes it home to spend the holidays with their loved ones.
The Festive RIDE campaign, which runs from November 17, 2022, until January 2, 2023, is led by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) and involves a collaboration among Ontario police services to keep roads free of alcohol-impaired and drug-impaired drivers. During the campaign, officers will be highly visible as they conduct RIDE initiatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the province.
Learn more about the consequences and penalties of driving impaired: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/impaired-driving.shtml
“We stand united with our partners in public safety to eliminate impaired drivers on Ontario roads. As we enter the holiday season, I ask motorists to choose to save lives and drive sober. There is no excuse to drive impaired. If you can’t drive sober, please do not drive. Your actions can directly impact whether someone makes it home for the holidays. Officers will remain vigilant for impaired drivers and conduct RIDE initiatives in all of our communities. If you see someone choosing to risk lives by getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs, speak up. Be a voice of reason. We all have the power to make our roads safer.” – Chief
Superintendent Dwight Peer, Ontario Provincial Police, Central Region