Fes­tive RIDE snares 539 im­paired driv­ers


Im­paired driv­ing on On­tario high­ways took a slight dip over the fes­tive sea­son ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics re­leased by the On­tario Provin­cial Po­lice on Jan. 4.

A to­tal of 539 mo­torists across the prov­ince were charged with im­paired driv­ing as part of the OPP’s Re­duce Im­paired Driv­ing Ev­ery­where ( RIDE) pro­gram be­tween Nov. 23 and Jan. 2.

This is down from 587 im­paired driv­ers the OPP took off the road dur­ing the 2017-18 fes­tive RIDE pro­gram last year.

“I am ex­tremely proud of our of­fi­cers for their com­mit­ment to keep­ing our roads safe over the hol­i­days,” OPP in­terim Com­mis­sioner Gary Cou­ture said in a news re­lease.

“Whether driv­ers were charged with al­co­hol-im­paired driv­ing, drug-im­paired driv­ing, or is­sued warn-range sus­pen­sions, the bot­tom line is that our of­fi­cers took close to 923 im­paired driv­ers off our roads and elim­i­nated the threat they posed to those who were shar­ing the road with them that day.”

OPP of­fi­cers can im­pose a tem­po­rary li­cence sus­pen­sion for mo­torists with a blood-al­co­hol con­tent in the range of five to eight mil­ligrams of al­co­hol per 100 millil­itres of blood. Eight mil­ligrams or above and a mo­torist in On­tario is legally im­paired.

A to­tal of 384 mo­torists pass­ing through RIDE check­points over the hol­i­day sea­son were served with warn-range sus­pen­sions. This com­pares with 366 warn-range sus­pen­sions dur­ing the 2017-18 RIDE cam­paign.

The OPP set up 10,270 RIDE check­points over the fes­tive sea­son. This is the first time the check­point count sur­passed the 10,000 mark since the pro­gram be­gan. A to­tal of 9,830 RIDE check­points were set up dur­ing the 2017-18 hol­i­day cam­paign.

The OPP re­port that 42 peo­ple died on OPP-pa­trolled roads and high­ways in 2018 in crashes and col­li­sions re­lated to al­co­hol and drug im­pair­ment.

The force re­minds mo­torists that – as of Dec. 18 – po­lice can de­mand a road­side breathal­yser sam­ple from any driver law­fully pulled over in On­tario. This in­cludes driv­ers who were pulled over for rea­sons other than sus­pected im­pair­ment.

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