Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have been sharing their message to stop drinking and driving loud and clear through public service announcements, sharing on social media, and shared campaigns with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), but they are starting to think they aren’t getting through to Ontario drunk drivers. Take Toronto for example: police in the city have been discouraged that the holiday Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) program stats have come in and arrests were up over last year.
The period of time between mid-November and the beginning of January is a busy one for impaired drivers. With the Christmas season in full swing, the Toronto’s OPP cracked down hard on drunk drivers by setting up road checks and sending numerous patrols out on the roads. Through their efforts they arrested 211 people for impaired driving offenses, and that number is up from 2014 when they arrested 195 people. The average number of daily arrests increased too: there were 3.7 arrests every day during the holiday RIDE program in 2014, but 2015 saw 4.7 per day.
What do these statistics mean? Although the Ontario police didn’t shed any light on the subject, the increase could mean one of two things: there were more patrols out on the roads to stop drunk drivers, or there are more people deciding to drive drunk this year than last year.
Across the province, Ontario police charged 900 people with alcohol consumption during the holiday RIDE program alone, and those people made up a part of the 6,000 alcohol and drug impaired driving charges laid in 2015.
From a driver speeding while drinking on the busy QEW to a family losing three of their children and father to a drunk driver, Ontario police have seen it all this past year. Although the holiday RIDE program is now over, they are looking forward and will spend 2016 continuing to find and charge Ontario drunk drivers who clearly don’t think before they drink and drive.