The OPP Festive RIDE campaign officially begins this weekend. aimed at taking alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers off the road.
Police are heading into the seasonal campaign with enhanced tools and authorities. Under the new law, police officers in possession of an approved screening device who lawfully pull over a driver in a RIDE initiative can now demand a breath sample without having reasonable suspicion that the driver has alcohol in their body.
The OPP has also acquired approved 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.
Officers can demand a driver submit to a Standardized Field Sobriety Test and a Drug Recognition Expert Evaluation. Trained officers have the expertise to detect impairment by alcohol, drugs or both in a driver.
"Whether a driver is impaired by alcohol, drugs or both, impaired is impaired, any time of year," says.Thomas Carrique, OPP Commissioner. "Our frontline officers have never been more prepared than they are now to remove these dangerous drivers from our roads."
"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," adds Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General.
Of note, drivers and passengers should know the rules about strictly-enforced laws that address transportation of cannabis.
In 2018, 56 people were killed in alcohol/drug-related collisions on OPP-patrolled roads and close to 600 people have died in the past 10 years in collisions that involved an alcohol or drug-impaired driver.
Every day, on average, four Canadians are killed and 175 are injured in impairment-related crashes.
The OPP Festive RIDE Campaign runs from November 23, 2019 to January 2, 2020.