Losing someone to drunk driving can feel especially fresh and painful during the holidays. Thanks to drunk drivers in Ontario’s York Region, that pain is a reality for many York families. That’s why York police are fighting back against Ontario impaired driving with the festive R.I.D.E. program again this year, and they’ve recently kicked it off at Bill Crothers Secondary School in Unionville.
This year, just like last year, the festive R.I.D.E. program was officially opened by the local deputy police chief. Instead of sharing stories about the many other York region families who have lost a family member or loved one during the year, the police chief spoke about a recent crash that directly affected his colleague.
The night before York Regional Police Deputy Chief Tom Carrique kicked off the R.I.D.E program, he found out that the son-in-law of a colleague had been killed by a suspected drunk driver near Newmarket. The victim was 28 years old, a father of one child and one on the way, and an upstanding member of the community.
It’s not very often that police share a situation that hits so close to home, and it highlights how Ontario impaired driving is such a serious issue in the York Region. This husband, father, and son joins a growing group of victims that include the Neville-Lake children and their grandfather, and it’s especially difficult to process this crash because the driver was driving drunk and driving on a suspended license.
The victims of drunk driving are there is a R.I.D.E program every year, and why Ontario impaired driving laws include ignition interlock penalties for all offenders. If police manage to catch a drunk driver during the R.I.D.E program, he or she can be prevented from driving drunk again thanks to the ignition interlock penalty. Without an interlock, tragedy can all too easily strike.
The festive R.I.D.E. program is on now, so if you live in the York region, keep an eye out for extra patrols and an increased police presence on the roads. If you’re ever tempted to drink and drive, remember the victims of drunk driving in your region and hand the keys to someone else.