Ontario Police Are Doing Random Checks For Impaired Drivers Starting This Weekend
With the holiday season just around the corner, there will be more officers on the road starting this weekend. The Ontario Provincial Police will begin their holiday Ontario RIDE program on November 23, 2019. The program will run until January 2, 2020, as part of their annual effort to curb impaired driving during the holidays.
With the holidays soon in full swing, officers are warning the public that festive RIDE checks are returning to Ontario's roads.
“With festive parties and holiday gatherings just around the corner, plan ahead and don’t drive impaired,” says Ontario’s solicitor general, Sylvia Jones to Global News.
“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.”
According to Global News, police are going into the holiday season with “enhanced tools and authorities” as mentioned by the OPP.
With an approved screening device, the OPP says officers who lawfully pull over drivers during the RIDE check or during a traffic stop can actually ask for a breath sample. This can occur whether or not officers are under the suspicion that alcohol has been consumed by the driver.
Alcohol consumption isn't the only thing that counts as impaired driving. Global News reports that police also have drug-screening equipment that detects cannabis and cocaine in saliva samples.
"Whether you're impaired by alcohol or drug, there is no place for you on our highways in that condition," says OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt in a Twitter video.
"What we want everyone to do is make good decisions. If you're out there celebrating with alcohol, have a designated driver or have an option."
Just a few months ago, Schmidt said that 43,000 collisions have occurred on OPP-patrolled roads this year alone, many of which are related to impaired driving. The number has increased since then.
It is also important to remember that new drivers, commercial vehicle drivers and young drivers who are currently under the age of 21 are not allowed to have any alcohol or drugs in their system, according to police.
Just don't drink and drive.