Did you drive through a road check in December? Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) upped their law enforcement during the busy month of December as part of their Festive RIDE campaign. It kicked off at the end of November and continued until January 2nd, 2015, and during that time there were 593 impaired driving charges issued and 485 Warn Range license suspensions. Unfortunately one person also died in December due to an alcohol-related crash.
For the Ontario Police, those aren’t great numbers. When compared to 2013’s Festive RIDE campaign, not much has changed. During that same period in 2013, the police handed out 587 impaired charges and 504 Warn Range license suspensions.
Although they managed to stop over 8,000 vehicles during their campaign, it wasn’t enough to see an improvement in stats. Ontario has harsh impaired driving laws, and for a first offender they include the loss of driver’s license for one year, fines payable up to $1,000, and a required ignition interlock program for one year. So if the impaired driving laws are strict, why no change in impaired driving rates over one year?
The Ontario Police think it comes down to driver participation, and that people who spot a drunk driver or even suspect a drunk driver should be calling them into 911. How can you spot a drunk driver? Here are a few ways:
- Frequent speeding up and slowing down
- Veering in and out of their lane
- Skipping stop signs and stop lights
- Abrupt braking
- Driving down the road in the wrong direction
Even if you only suspect the person of drunk driving and you aren’t really sure, it still warrants a call to 911. If you call, you give the police a heads up that a drunk driver could be on the road, and that one phone call could save a life.