The Ontario Provincial Police are putting a new spin on their annual RIDE campaign this year by promising a crackdown on drivers impaired by drugs, as part of the crusade against drinking and driving.
Last year, police charged 241 drivers with impaired driving during the campaign, which lasted 40 days. That was down from the 295 charged during the previous Christmas season.
Another 29,945 drivers were stopped in spot checks during last year’s campaign, and 288 were issued three-day licence suspensions, which are given to drivers who blow a “warn” on a roadside breath test.
Police take a zero tolerance approach to drinking and driving, and RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) spot checks are set up periodically throughout the year. But during the Christmas season, additional officers are assigned and enforcement is increased.
Police are encouraging festive season celebrants to plan ahead to get home safely by using a designated driver, taxi or public transit.
“Our RIDE teams will be out looking for those who choose not to exercise common sense, community courtesy and responsibility,” said Peel Police Insp. Robert Orr, officer in charge of Road Safety Services.
Police will once again release to the media the names of all those arrested and charged with drinking and driving related offences during the campaign.