(ORILLIA, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) wrapped up its Festive Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) campaign on a sad note over the weekend, with a total of six people losing their lives in impaired driving-related incidents over the seven-week period.
While all data is preliminary, five of the deaths involved a motor vehicle collision, with the sixth being off-road vehicle-related.
Over and above these tragic, preventable deaths, many innocent road users were injured in some 270 OPP-investigated collisions during the campaign, in which an impaired driver was a factor.
OPP officers conducted more than 7,340 RIDE Stop initiatives throughout the province, charging 610 drivers with impaired driving between November 21, 2016 and January 7, 2017.
OPP Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE) also took part, laying drug-impaired driving charges to 22 of the 610 charged drivers. Through the OPP Drug Evaluation and Classification Program, DREs have the tools and expertise they need to test for and detect drug impairment in drivers.
During the campaign, an additional 388 drivers were issued Warn Range Suspensions for driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) between .05 and .08 – a BAC range that also impairs one’s ability to drive safely and poses a danger to other road users.
Heading into the new year, the OPP is reminding Ontarians that they all have a role to play in ending impaired driving-related deaths. Make a commitment to never drive after consuming alcohol or drugs. If you suspect that someone is driving while impaired, call 9-1-1 to report them to police. In doing so, you could be saving lives.