The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officially launch their annual Festive RIDE campaign this weekend across the province.
The goal of the holiday RIDE program is to take both alcohol and drug impaired drivers off the road.
New impaired driving laws phased in last year allow police officers who pull over drivers during a lawful traffic stop, such as a RIDE program, to demand a breath sample without having reasonable suspicion the driver has consumed alcohol.
In addition, the OPP say they have acquired new drug screening equipment which can detect cannabis and cocaine in a driver’s saliva. The device can be used to enforce the provincial “zero tolerance” sanctions that now apply to young, novice and commercial drivers who are suspected of having the presence of drugs in their body.
OPP say these tools will be beneficial to them throughout the entire year, not only the holiday season.
“Whether a driver is impaired by alcohol, drugs or both, impaired is impaired – any time of year. Our frontline officers have never been more prepared than they are now to remove these dangerous drivers from our roads.”
Thomas Carrique, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner
“With festive parties and holiday gatherings just around the corner, plan ahead and don’t drive impaired. It is a serious criminal offence to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and police officers across Ontario have the tools to detect impaired drivers. Please drive responsibly to help keep our roadways safe this holiday season.”
Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General