The RIDE (Reduced Impaired Driving Everywhere) program is one of the best ways Waterloo, Ontario police stop drunk drivers. In 2012 there were over 41,000 vehicles checked for potential drunk drivers thanks to the RIDE program, so there’s no question it is a success for the police.
Unfortunately this year staffing changes demanded a 25% decrease in Waterloo police RIDE stops, and although they’ve been required to drop the number of programs held, they’ve actually seen an increase in the number of alcohol-related charges during the vehicle checks they have had.
Overall the police checked 29,278 vehicles and charged 7 people with impaired driving, 22 charges of driving with over .80, and 62 charges of people refusing to submit to a breath sample. The number of impaired charges is up 1 from 2013 when they charged 6 people after checking over 40,000 vehicles.
RIDE checks might be down, but that doesn’t mean that police aren’t out in full force stopping impaired drivers. There were 553 impaired driving charges laid in 2014, and that number was up from 545 in 2013.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) feels as though RIDE works as a great deterrent for drinking drivers, and these types of programs are also great reminders that Ontario impaired driving laws are more than a slap on the wrist for offenders in the province. Even offenders who are charged in the warn range with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 to .079 can have their drivers license immediately suspended and their vehicle impounded. If you’re charged with impaired driving, you’re going to be without a license for a much longer period of time, and to drive again you’ll have to install an ignition interlock device.
You never know when or where a checkpoint will be set up, and although the RIDE program isn’t popping up in as many spots as it used to, people should really think twice before they get behind the wheel after drinking.