In early November, Ontario Provincial Police launched a Festive Ride campaign targeting drunk drivers during the holiday season. The road safety initiative, led by the Ontario Association of Police Chiefs (OACP) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), is scheduled to run from November 17th to January 2nd.
During the festive rides, the police will increase patrols on the road to find affected drivers, and set up daily checkpoints to conduct roadside spot checks.
“[There’s] With people coming together, having Christmas parties, we’re more focused on the holidays and we don’t want tragedies on our roads,” said Greater Sudbury Police Sgt. Blair Ram, who works in the service’s traffic management division. Qi (Blair Ramsey) said in an interview with Sudbury.com.
In addition, Ramsey added that spot checks are not only important for law enforcement, they can also remind the public of the dangers of drinking and driving, and police remain vigilant to prevent accidents involving drunk driving.
According to Greater Sudbury Police Deputy Chief Sara Cunningham, Sudbury police charged 338 drivers with drink-driving-related offenses in 2021 and 2022 so far. 252 offenses related to drink driving have been charged.
“Road safety remains our top priority in Greater Sudbury, not just for us at the GSPS, but for our entire community,” she said. “The tragic and life-altering effects of drinking and driving are more than any of us want to experience.”
The Safe Ride Home Sudbury program involves volunteers driving people home after a party. The service works annually with Festive RIDE, where volunteers participate in spot checks and work with police to provide education.
“I’ve seen firsthand how committed we are to working with traffic authorities to eliminate bad driving,” said Lesli Green, founder of Safe Ride Home Sudbury, adding that the GSPS “has given us tremendous support and the best way to communicate our information and work together to keep our communities safe.”
Drivers were also reminded during the festival ride that the mandatory alcohol screening law allows police to use approved alcohol screening devices to request a roadside breath sample from any driver who is legally stopped without a reasonable suspicion that the driver is intoxicated . Therefore, designated police officers trained as Drug Recognition Evaluators (DREs) can apply the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) for alcohol and drug consumption testing.