Image courtesy DRPS

Festive RIDE readies for more impaired drivers this season

Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) yesterday kicked off the 2021 Festive RIDE campaign in Central West Division.

Over the next eight weeks, the RIDE team will be out in communities across Durham Region ensuring the roadways are safe.

Last year’s RIDE campaign saw a total of 8,464 vehicles stopped, with 51 drivers charged with drinking and driving offences – a large decline from 2019 when 19,624 vehicles were stopped and 104 charged. This decline was attributed to fewer vehicles on the road due to pandemic restrictions and lockdowns, said a DRPS statement.

With the easing of many restrictions, this holiday season is expected to see more motorists out on the roadways and our message around impaired driving remains the same – it will not be tolerated on our roads. This year has already seen a slight increase in impaired driving charges over last year, it added. “We are reminding motorists that if you are celebrating this holiday season, make sure you make arrangements for a safe and sober ride home.”

Chief Todd Rollauer helped kick-off this year’s campaign and had a message for motorists. “We hope motorists will always make the right choices before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Chief Rollauer. “With the festive season upon us and more parties and celebrations, please be proactive and make alternative means to get home if you plan to take anything that will impair your ability to drive. If you believe you see an impaired driver, please call 9-1-1 and let’s all do our part to keep each other safe this holiday.”

MADD launches Project Red Ribbon

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) also launched its annual ‘Project Red Ribbon’ campaign to promote sober driving during the holiday season and remind Canadians about the importance of planning ahead for a sober ride home.

The holiday season remains a busy time on our roadways and still a time of high risk for impaired driving. MADD Durham Region is urging people to take a few minutes to plan ahead. If you’re going to be consuming alcohol, cannabis or other drugs, arrange a sober ride. For more information on MADD Durham Region’s Project Red Ribbon campaign visit, MADDChapters.ca/Durham or follow them on social media @MADDDurham

If you see a driver you suspect is impaired, please call 9-1-1 to report it to police; the call you make could save a life. DRPS said it wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

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