Port Credit OPP officers will be out in full beginning tonight as they try to prevent drunk drivers from causing “carnage” on Mississauga and Brampton highways.
The force’s 2014 holiday RIDE initiative begins this evening across the province and runs until Jan. 2.
While the number of irresponsible motorists who continue to drive while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol is small, the carnage and harm they can cause is impossible to calculate, the OPP said in a release.
The OPP is calling on everyone to never drive impaired and to discourage others from doing so. If someone you encounter insists on driving impaired, call 9-1-1 so the police service of jurisdiction can take the driver off the road before someone is harmed, said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes.
“The OPP goal is to get through the holiday season without losing a single life to impaired driving. We will use a combination of public education and focused enforcement to drive home the message that impaired driving on Ontario roads is never acceptable,” he said.
OPP officers have seen a worrisome increase in the number of drivers being charged with driving impaired by drugs other than alcohol.
In 2014 up to the end of September, 5,685 impaired charges have been laid by the OPP. Encouragingly, this is down 17 percent from the same period in 2013 which saw 6,842 impaired charges laid. However, for the same period, there was a 32 percent increase in 2014 in the number of drug impaired driving occurrences compared to 2013.
Meanwhile, Peel Regional Police began the Festive Season RIDE campaign Thursday, setting up spot checks on the hunt for impaired drivers in Brampton and Mississauga.
Spot checks will be out every evening from now through the new year.
Last year, police charged 241 drivers with impaired driving during the campaign, which lasted 40 days. That was down from the 295 charged during the previous Christmas season.
Another 29,945 drivers were stopped in spot checks during last year’s campaign, and 288 were issued three-day licence suspensions, which are given to drivers who blow a “warn” on a roadside breath test.
-with files from Pam Douglas