It was a sobering end to the year and start of a new one for the 812 drivers who were charged with a total of 1,258 impaired driving offences by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) during its annual Festive RIDE campaign.
OPP officers were undeterred as they worked through some of the most intense winter storms in recent history, committed as ever to taking impaired drivers and other alcohol/drug-related driving offenders off the road and keeping holiday travelers safe.
During the campaign, officers conducted close to 10,000 RIDE stops throughout the province, checking approximately 240,000 drivers and investigating those suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Officers also exercised their Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS) authority, which allows them to demand a breath sample from any lawfully stopped driver, even if there is no suspicion or evidence of alcohol consumption.
The OPP also issued 208 Warn Range Suspensions and 21 Zero Tolerance Suspensions to drivers during the seven-week initiative.
Locally, the OPP West Region reported a snapshot of this year’s campaign results, with last year’s numbers in parentheses:
- Impaired driving charges: 278 (280)
- Warn-range suspensions: 49 (55)
- Number of RIDE checkpoints: 1904 (1243)
- OPP detachments with the most impaired charges: Middlesex-43, Oxford-43, Essex-29
- OPP detachments with the fewest impaired charges: South Bruce-4, Huron-7.
The OPP thanks all road users and citizens who reported suspected impaired drivers to police and did their part to keep roads safe over the holidays.
Drivers are reminded that the OPP conducts RIDE events throughout the year as part of its ongoing efforts to save lives on Ontario roads.
The OPP Festive RIDE Campaign ran from November 17, 2022 to January 2, 2023.