Despite the legalization of cannabis, impaired driving was down across the province over the holidays this year. The OPP reports taking 539 drivers off the road this year, down 48 from 587 last year. Still, officers report 42 alcohol or drug related deaths on OPP patrolled roads this year.
The Festive RIDE campaign was held between Nov. 23 and Jan. 2 across the province. In addition to the charges, 384 drivers where issued with warn range suspensions for having a blood alcohol concentration in the .05 and .08 range.
Officers conducted a total of 10,270 stop events throughout the province during the campaign, marking the first time the number of OPP RIDE stop events exceeds the 10,000 mark.
Last year at the same time, the OPP charged 587 drivers with alcohol/drug-impaired driving, issued 366 Warn Range Suspensions and conducted 9,830 RIDE stops.
"I am extremely proud of our officers for their commitment to keeping our roads safe over the holidays. Whether drivers were charged with alcohol-impaired driving, drug-impaired driving or issued Warn Range Suspensions, the bottom line is that our officers took close to 923 impaired drivers off our roads and eliminated the threat they posed to those who were sharing the road with them that day," said the OPP's interim commissioner, Gary Couture.
Tragically, there were 42 alcohol and drug-related road deaths on OPP-patrolled roads in 2018.