Impaired driving is a public safety problem year-round, but sadly the threat only worsens during the holidays.
The OPP is conducting its annual Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign from Nov. 25- Jan. 1, and is reminding motorists that province-wide R.I.D.E. stops will be highly-visible throughout the holiday season.
During last year’s R.I.D.E. campaign, the OPP laid 308 impaired driving charges and issued 903 “warn” range and administrative driver’s licence suspensions.
Impaired driving continues to be the leading cause of criminal death in Canada. As of mid-November, 40 people have died in alcohol-related collisions on OPP-patrolled roads and highways compared to 75 at this same time last year.
While the number is down significantly this year, even one alcohol-related death is one too many and motorists need to be more proactive in eliminating these preventable fatalities altogether.
“Year after year, our Festive R.I.D.E. campaign proves effective in taking impaired drivers off our roads,” said C/Supt. Don Bell, Commander, OPP Highway Safety Division.
“If you’re drinking, come up with a plan that involves not driving, such as taking a cab, a bus, or have a designated driver.
“Don’t drink and drive, don’t let those who are drinking drive, and be sure to report those who do,” he stressed.
Thinking of refusing a breath test? Think again. Motorists who refuse a breath test will be charged with a Criminal Code offence and immediately have their driver’s licence suspended for 90 days.
Think you can have a few drinks and be sure you’ll blow under the legal limit?
Think again. Drivers who blow in the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) “warn” range of .05 to .08 pose a danger to themselves and other road users.
If caught driving in the “warn” range, you will receive an immediate three-day driver’s licence suspension at the roadside, and the suspension period increases with subsequent offences to seven and then 30 days.
Think your family and friends won’t report a loved one or other driver who takes to the wheel while impaired?
Think again. The last thing people want to deal with over the holidays is the devastation of losing a loved one to an impaired driver.
If you suspect an impaired driver, call 9-1-1.