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.