OPP Wraps Up Festive R.I.D.E. Campaign

More Impaired Drivers this Year than in Previous Campaigns Says OPP

ORILLIA, ON, Jan. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Despite continued warnings that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would be as visible as ever during their Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign, the OPP is disappointed that the number of motorists charged with impaired driving over the holidays is the highest it has been when compared to the last eight campaigns (from 2005 to present).

This year's Festive R.I.D.E. campaign was conducted from November 24, 2012 to January 2, 2013 and OPP R.I.D.E. stops were set up around the clock throughout the province as OPP officers worked diligently to take impaired drivers off Ontario roads.

Over the five and a half week campaign, OPP officers charged 693 persons with having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over 0.08 (or over 80 milligrams).  Officers also issued a total of 625 Warn Range suspensions to motorists caught driving with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 (or between 50 and 80 milligrams).

During last year's campaign (2011-2012), OPP officers charged 682 motorists with impaired driving and issued a Warn Range suspension to 583 drivers.  According to the OPP, there is no excuse for the number of impaired drivers being on the rise and it is a simple matter of people continuing to make bad decisions that impact public safety over the holidays.

"We had hoped to see these numbers decrease significantly during this year's campaign, in light of how much harder we have worked to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving," said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.  "Impaired driving continues to be the leading cause of criminal death in Canada and it is disappointing that we still have Ontario drivers who feel entitled to place other road users at risk of losing their lives to an impaired driver," Lewis added.

"In light of these Festive R.I.D.E. statistics, we will be as committed as ever in 2013 to incorporating the high visibility, professional traffic stops, public education and measurable outcomes supported by our Provincial Traffic Safety Program, in our ongoing effort to reduce impaired driving on Ontario roads," said Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Divison.

The OPP is reminding the public that they will continue to conduct R.I.D.E. stops throughout the year on Ontario roads.

The OPP would also like to thank and recognize Ontario drivers who kept everyone safe over the holidays by driving sober, as well as those who arranged for designated drivers and made alternate arrangements for getting home during their holiday celebrations.

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SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Contacts by OPP Region: 

Highway Safety Division: Sergeant Dave Woodford Phone: (416) 553-5471
Central Region: Sergeant Peter Leon Phone: (705) 329-7414
East Region: Sergeant Kristine Rae Phone: (613) 284-4557
Northeast Region: Inspector Mark Andrews Phone: (705) 471-0704
Northwest Region: A/Sergeant Anne McCoy Phone: (807) 274-3322
West Region: Sergeant Dave Rektor Phone: (519) 652-4156