Celebrate The Season Responsibly



    Plan Ahead For A Safe Ride Home

    QUEEN'S PARK, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - Transportation Minister Jim Bradley today
reminded all Ontarians to keep our roads safe by driving soberly this holiday
season.
    "Enjoy the holiday, but if you intend to have a drink, be sure to have a
plan to get you and your loved ones home safely," said Bradley. "Under no
circumstances should you get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol."
    Ontario has the lowest rate of alcohol-related collisions in North
America. It also has some of the toughest penalties for those who drink and
drive. These include:
    
      -  Immediate 90-day driver's licence suspension at the roadside if a
         driver tests over the legal blood alcohol limit
      -  Mandatory remedial drinking and driving educational session
      -  Ignition interlock to prevent the car from starting if a convicted
         drunk driver has taken a drink
      -  Vehicle impoundment (for those caught driving while under
         suspension).
    

    In 2004, drinking and driving collisions killed 192 people on Ontario
roads, including 13 over the holiday season.
    "Keeping impaired drivers off our roads depends on good laws - but also
on public awareness and enforcement," said Bradley.
    Ontario works closely with police and community groups to educate the
public about the risks of impaired driving through such programs as the
Festive R.I.D.E. campaign, which runs this season until January 2, 2008.
    "Impaired driving destroys lives and will not be tolerated in Ontario,"
said Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci. "I
want to commend police officers across the province for their work to
eradicate this senseless and preventable crime. I also want to remind
Ontarians that driving sober is everyone's responsibility."
    "Ontario roads are among the safest in North America," Ontario Provincial
Police Commissioner Julian Fantino said. "But we are working hard every day to
make them even safer. The R.I.D.E. program has proved to be an effective
deterrent and important tool to educate the driving public about the dangers
of impaired driving."
    During last year's Festive R.I.D.E. campaign, police officers charged 339
people with Criminal Code alcohol-related offences. Officers also issued 802
12-hour license suspensions, while 365 drivers faced lengthy 90-day licence
suspensions.

    Disponible en français

    
                              www.mto.gov.on.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Oved, Minister's Office,
(416) 327-1855; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158; Public
Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free, 1-866-471-8929 TTY

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Ontario Ministry of Transportation

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