More impaired drivers this year than in previous campaigns says OPP.
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.
Locally Elgin OPP officers conducted 71 R.I.D.E. programs throughout Elgin
County which resulted in 7 Impaired/Over 80 criminal charges and 2
Warn Range suspensions to motorists caught driving with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08
(or between 50 and 80 milligrams). This is compared to 10 Impaired/Over 80
criminal charges and 3 Warn Range suspensions which were issued during the
2011 Elgin County OPP Festive R.I.D.E. campaign.
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.