SE OPP – Festive “Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere” (RIDE) campaign underway

This holiday season, police will again be on the lookout for impaired drivers who are putting the public’s safety at risk. The Superior East Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is conducting their annual Festive “Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere” (RIDE) campaign from Thursday, November 16, 2023 to Monday, January 1, 2024. Festive RIDE has become a familiar part of the holiday season and is one of the OPP’s most important traffic safety initiatives. Impairment from alcohol, cannabis, prescription/illegal drugs, or fatigue is a significant road safety issue. Every year, countless lives are lost to those individuals who make the decision to get behind the wheel and drive while impaired. So far in 2023, 44 people have been killed on OPP-patrolled roads in alcohol/drug-related collisions.  

During Festive RIDE, officers will be utilizing Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS) to identify impaired operators. Drivers are reminded that the MAS law allows police to demand a roadside breath sample from any lawfully stopped driver, without having reasonable suspicion that a driver is alcohol impaired. If you are a fully licenced driver and you refuse to take a drug or alcohol test or register a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%, you will face a 90-day licence suspension and 7-day vehicle impoundment. Young, novice and commercial drivers (A-F, G1, G2, M1, and M2 licences) must follow the “zero tolerance” rule, which means zero alcohol in their blood when driving. Drug-impaired driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol, and drivers are subject to the same severe penalties.

Expect to see officers out in full force this season, conducting RIDE in our communities and on our highways. Drivers are asked to be careful when approaching a RIDE location, as officers will be standing in live lanes of traffic. When you see flashing lights: please slow down and proceed with caution.

When you operate a motor vehicle, you have a responsibility to keep yourself, your passengers and other road users safe. Have a plan before you go out to celebrate this holiday season and make the decision not to drive impaired. Arrange for a designated driver, call a taxi or stay overnight.

If you suspect a driver is impaired by alcohol, drug or even fatigue, please call 9-1-1 or contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

The Superior East OPP wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!