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OPP urge motorists to give best gift of all: vow to never drive while impaired

November 16, 2023

(ORILLIA, ON) - If you can give only one gift over the holidays, why not make a commitment to never drive while impaired? It's a commitment every driver can conveniently make from the comfort of the driver's seat, at any time of day, on any road.

This formed part of the message delivered by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) and the OPP, who were joined by the Ontario transportation minister, York Regional Police, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and many other road/public safety partners, to kick off the provincial Festive RIDE campaign.

Beginning this week and right through the holidays, the OPP and its valued police partners will make full use of their expertise and sophisticated tools for detecting and investigating alcohol and drug impairment in drivers.

"No family should lose a loved one in a collision that involves alcohol and/or drugs, especially during the holidays,” says OPP commissioner Thomas Carrique. “Driving soberly and drug-free is critical to preventing road fatalities and injuries. You can help make roads even safer by calling 911 if you see a suspected impaired driver. Let's work together to make this the safest holiday season yet."

"The holiday season is here, and I encourage all Ontarians to engage with their loved ones about the dangers of drinking or using drugs and driving a vehicle,” says solicitor general Michael Kerzner. “Driving impaired is dangerous, illegal, and can have fatal consequences. During the holidays this year, everyone should have a plan to get home safely, and not be afraid to speak up and ensure others do the same."

"Ontario has among the safest roads in North America, and we are committed to making them even safer,” says transportation minister Prabmeet Sarkaria. “Whether it's drugs or alcohol, there is no place for impaired driving in Ontario. This holiday season, do your part to help keep our roads safe. Remember to plan ahead - use public transit, take a taxi or ride-share service, or have a designated driver to get you, your family and other drivers on the road home safely."

"Police services across our province are united in their determination to keep our roads and highways safe throughout the year, including during special times of the year like the holiday season,” says Jim MacSween OACP president and chief of the York Regional Police. “Our message is simple: we want everyone to enjoy the season safely. Impaired driving is never okay."

The Festive RIDE campaign runs from Nov. 16, 2023, to Jan. 1, 2024.

  • Mandatory Alcohol Screening allows police to demand a roadside breath test from any lawfully stopped driver, even if there is no evidence or suspicion that the driver is impaired by alcohol.
  • Citizens have placed almost 17,000 calls to the OPP this year to report suspected impaired drivers.
  • Under Ontario's Zero Tolerance law, it is illegal for young, novice and commercial drivers to have any amount of alcohol or drugs in their system.
  • Drug Recognition Evaluations (DRE) and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) remain effective police resources for detecting drug-impaired drivers.


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