OPP remains concerned about driving while impaired

Some people 'still not getting the message,' say officials

Apparently, at least some drivers have yet to “get the message” related to driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. That message, of course, is that driving while impaired is a no-no.

The OPP province wide laid some 573 charges of impaired driving during a Festive RIDE program that began November 23 and wrapped up on January 2, say officials.

Just over 350 people had their licenses suspended following a roadside warning during the annual safety initiative. Officers were checking vehicles at roadside stops while checking for alcohol and drug impaired drivers.

Recent statistics do indicate that the percentage of people charged with impaired driving is down slightly during the Festive RIDE program this year compared to last year, but police say the sobering fact is that impaired driving is still considered a huge threat to public safety.

“Despite the high number of charges again this year, it is difficult to understand why people still choose to drink or use drugs, and then get behind the wheel to drive,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, provincial commander of Traffic Safety & Operational Support. “These statistics are alarming, and we intend to keep the pressure on drivers who refuse to consider an alternative way to get to their destination. The annual Festive RIDE program may be over, but I can assure you that OPP officers will remain diligent with their focus on impaired drivers by conducting RIDE stops in various random locations every day across this province.”

In 2015, the OPP laid over 6000 alcohol and drug impaired driving charges. The OPP is reminding the public that some officers now have specialized training to identify drug impaired drivers.  Police will continue their efforts to raise awareness about the dangers associated with impaired driving.

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