From November 24, 2017 to January 2nd, 2018 the Ontario Provincial Police held their annual Festive Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) Campaign. During the campaign 587 drivers were charged with impaired driving, while 366 were issued Warn Range Suspensions.
Both numbers have dropped since 2016 when 623 drivers were charged for impaired driving and 407 were issued Warn Range Suspensions. A Warn Range Suspension is when a driver is caught operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration between .05 and 0.8 resulting in their license being suspended, but no charges laid.
Even though the number did drop from the previous year Media Relations Officer for the OPP Constable Ed Sanchuk says the number of charges are still way too high.
“1 impaired driver is 1 too many, we have technology at our finger tips that allow us to make that call to arrange for that ride home. Please don’t drink and drive and just because it’s the festive time doesn’t mean you should be doing it any time of year”
Constable Sanchuk also mentioned that they use OPP Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE) to assist with tools and expertise in order to test for substances other than alcohol in drivers. Because of they help 29 people were charged with drug impairment during the campaign, a number that could rise when marijuana is eventually legalized. The OPP are not sure how legalization will effect the number of people driving high, but they will have 0 tolerance for the act.
In total in 2017 the OPP conducted 9,830 RIDE events throughout the province, resulting in 4,915 alcohol impaired charges, 238 drug impaired charges and 2,995 Warn Range Suspensions. The OPP urge everyone to inform the police of someone who is planning on driving under the influence, even if you are close to them.