Published: January 25, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Ontario Provincial Police officers were out in force over the holiday season looking for impaired drivers. Releasing the 2016/17 campaign figures last week Sargent Kelly Hall notes the number of Festive RIDE checks across the district hit over three digits.
“One hundred and five RIDE Initiatives were conducted during the seven week Festive RIDE Season by the Red Lake OPP throughout the Detachment area including the Municipality of Red Lake, Township of Ear Falls, Pikangikum First Nation and surrounding provincial highways,” said Hall on Jan. 18.
From those stops 25 criminal charges including Impaired Driving and Over 80, in addition to 1 Warn Range Suspension under the HTA were laid throughout the detachment area.
Hall says despite the holiday season being over the message to resident remains the same.
“Impaired Driving continues to be a prevalent issue on area roadways. The police urge individuals to identify alternate methods of travelling such as the use of designated drivers, taxis or calls to sober family members and friends. The police continue proactive enforcement and RIDE year-round.”
Province-wide RIDE results
Across the province the OPP says officers conducted more than 7,340 RIDE Stop initiatives between November 21, 2016 and January 7, 201. Over 600 charges were laid for impaired driving and six deaths are being attributed to impaired driving-related incidents. Preliminary reports note five of the deaths involved a motor vehicle collision and one related to an off-road vehicle.
Over and above these tragic, preventable deaths, many innocent road users were injured in some 270 OPP-investigated collisions during the campaign, in which an impaired driver was a factor.
OPP Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE) also took part, laying drug-impaired driving charges to 22 of the 610 charged drivers, the organization noted earlier this month. An additional 388 drivers were issued Warn Range Suspensions for driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) between .05 and .08.