The Ontario Provincial Police are hoping that this year’s edition of their Festive R.I.D.E (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) program will teach drivers and passengers about the consequences of impaired driving.
Police are sharing some statistics about impaired driving across the province. Their annual campaign gets underway on November 23rd and will run until January 2nd of 2016.
OPP are reporting that from January to October, the numbers of alcohol involved occurrences were up 3 percent over the same period last year.
As of November 15th, 35 fatalities were attributed to alcohol consumption out of the 258 people killed.
13 people died when their off-road vehicle was involved in a collision and six of those people had been impaired by alcohol.
The 2015 Festive R.I.D.E. campaign is set to include drug recognition officers. These officers have specialized training to identify drug impaired drivers.The OPP also have a significant number of officers who conduct standardized field sobriety tests on drivers who give police a reasonable suspicion of impairment by drugs.
OPP officer Sergeant Dave Rektor says that these numbers are very disturbing, “We do see a spike over the holiday season in the terms of impaired drivers and this primarily due to the fact that there a number of events planned in November and December. This year so far we have laid over 6,800 impaired driving charges and that number is high.”
“We need to get the message across to drivers and passengers that no alcohol is the right amount when operating a car, we can’t do it alone and we need the public’s help,” adds Rektor.
Police are encouraging the public to call authorities if you see someone getting behind the wheel after they have been drinking.