Start The Year With A Smart Decision: Don't Drink And Drive

    Make Choosing A Designated Driver Your First Resolution

    QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Dec. 28 /CNW/ - To help all Ontarians have a safe and
memorable New Year's Eve, Transportation Minister Jim Bradley is asking
partygoers to pick a designated driver before they leave home.
    "People who intend to drink must plan ahead for a safe ride home," said
Bradley. "Call a cab. Hop on the bus. Stay overnight. Choose a designated
driver - better yet, be a designated driver. Getting behind the wheel is just
not an option if you've been drinking."
    In 2004, drinking and driving collisions killed 192 people on Ontario
roads, including 13 during the holiday season. To fight impaired driving, the
McGuinty government has implemented some of the toughest measures in North
America. 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.

    "Despite our strict laws, some people still choose to drink and drive,"
added Bradley. "By working with our partners in the community, we're
convincing more people that drinking and driving is never an acceptable risk."
    "MADD Canada applauds the Ontario government for all of its tough
measures against impaired drivers," said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Murie. "Driving while impaired is not a risk anyone can afford to take.
Show your friends and loved ones how much you care this holiday season by
making sure they have a safe ride home."
    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 until January 2, 2008.
    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 licence suspensions, while 365 drivers faced 90-day licence

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Oved, Minister's Office,
(416) 327-2885; 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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