RIDE pro­grams now in ef­fect, with po­lice check­ing for cannabis use

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS -

’TIS THE SEA­SON FOR po­lice to roll out their Fes­tive RIDE cam­paign, the first since the govern­ment le­gal­ized cannabis use. Po­lice note they’ll be check­ing for drug-im­paired driv­ers as vig­or­ously as they do those who’ve been drink­ing al­co­hol.

So far this year, the OPP re­ports al­co­hol and/or drugs were a fac­tor in the deaths of 39 peo­ple.

From Jan­uary 1 to midOc­to­ber, the OPP laid more than 6,700 im­paired driv­ing charges across the prov­ince, 283 of which were ‘im­paired by drugs.’

The OPP re­ports that its stan­dard­ized field so­bri­ety test-trained of­fi­cers and drug recog­ni­tion ex­perts have been in place for years and are pre­pared to deal with the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.

Po­lice re­mind driv­ers that when trans­port­ing cannabis in a ve­hi­cle, it must be in its orig­i­nal pack­age that has not been opened, or it can be pack­aged in bag­gage that is fas­tened closed or is not other­wise read­ily avail­able to any per­son in the ve­hi­cle. Novice, young (un­der 22) and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle driv­ers can­not have any al­co­hol or drugs in their sys­tem while driv­ing.

“Driv­ers who con­sume cannabis and think they can avoid de­tec­tion by the OPP need to think again. The OPP has a strong set of tools and skills that en­able them to take drug and al­co­hol-im­paired driv­ers off our roads. Whether a per­son is driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs or al­co­hol, im­paired is im­paired. Both forms are dan­ger­ous, se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fences and they carry sim­i­lar penal­ties,” said OPP in­terim Deputy Com­mis­sioner Rose DiMarco in a re­lease.

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