Hundreds of Drivers to Ring in New Year with an Impaired Driving Charge

Dec 21, 2011

OPP Festive R.I.D.E. Update

AURORA, ON, Dec. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - As it heads into its fourth week, the OPP's Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign has been highly successful in dealing with impaired drivers on Ontario roads.     

To date (as of December 20, 2011), 835 impaired drivers have been pulled over in OPP R.I.D.E. stops.  Of this total, 455 drivers were charged with impaired driving and 380 were issued immediate Warn Range suspensions for having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) between .05 and .08.

"Last year, 308 persons were charged with impaired driving over the entire 2010-2011 Festive R.I.D.E. campaign and it's extremely disappointing to hear that 455 persons have been charged with impaired driving already, with almost two more weeks to go in the campaign", says OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.  "We've been very clear about how dangerous impaired driving is and how consistently this driving behaviour kills and injures innocent people so there are no excuses for this behaviour continuing the way it is," added Lewis.

Since the campaign got underway, OPP R.I.D.E. stops have been conducted throughout the province, yet the numbers to date demonstrate that far too many drivers still don't care about risking their own lives, the lives of others or losing their driving privileges, according to Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Division. 

"With New Year's Eve just over a week away, we want to send a strong reminder to drivers that the Festive R.I.D.E. campaign will remain strong and highly visible right through to the New Year.  There is no "best time" to drink and drive over the holidays because our Festive R.I.D.E. stops run 24/7, so driving sober is the only way to keep everyone safe on the road and eliminate the chance of losing your license," says Bell.

Impaired driving is an important enough topic to Commissioner Lewis that he's making it the focus of this week's The Commish program, a live call-in show which airs tonight (Wednesday, December 21, 2011)  at 7:00 p.m. on CP24-TV.  Commissioner Lewis will be joined by Chief Superintendent Bell and they are encouraging the public to tune into tonight's program to share views and ask questions about this important safety issue.

Go to www.opp.ca and join in on the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Check the opp.ca Festive R.I.D.E. banner for regular statistic updates.

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For further information:

  Contacts by OPP Region:  
Highway Safety Division:  Sergeant Dave Woodford  Phone: (416) 553-5471
Central Region:   Constable Peter Leon   Phone: (705) 329-7414
Eastern Region:   Constable Joel Doiron   Phone: (613) 525-1954 
Northeast Region:   Ms. Patty Gysel            Phone: (705) 475-2655
Northwest Region:   Sergeant Shelley Garr   Phone: (807) 473-2734
Western Region:               Constable Aaron McPhail            Phone: (888) 802-9863