New signs target impaired driving

The district Substance Abuse Prevention team has made yet another move to enforce its message against drinking and driving, posting new signs in local bars.
“All the local bars are on board,” enthused Fort Frances OPP Cst. Al MacDonald, who also sits on the SAP committee.
“They went over really well,” he added, noting the signs, which read “Proud participant of the designated driver program,” are provided at no cost to business owners.
“I think it’s a permanent step in the right direction,” SAP co-ordinator Kelly Olson agreed Friday morning. “The awareness is increasing, and it’s something the bars have been working collectively on.”
“Education is a big part of policing,” noted Fort Frances S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis. “And for people to use the designated driver program is yet another way of keeping the community safer.”
The signs are another extension of the designated driver campaign, which also includes incentives for sober drivers, like vouchers for a free medium-sized pizza from Pizza Hut and glow-in-the-dark glasses that are now available at local bars.
Cst. MacDonald said SAP hopes to extend its signage campaign elsewhere in the district down the road.
Raising awareness of the perils of impaired driving, twinned with incentives for drivers to remain responsible and sober, is as important as ever, he added, noting four drivers were charged locally in the past week alone.
The most recent incident occurred late Thursday evening when a 35-year-old Fort Frances man was arrested on the 700 block of Stewart Street.
He was charged with impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over 80 mg. He is to appear in court here May 6.
In other news, police are investigating a report of a theft from a Daniel Avenue garage that occurred sometime Wednesday.
Culprits entered the unlocked garage and stole tools and a Sony stereo system, police said.