With the holidays right around the corner, your social calendar may be filling up fast, but police are reminding you to be responsible with how you get to, and leave, those events.
The annual holiday R.I.D.E. checks program, Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere, launched on Thursday with the focus on keeping impaired drivers off the road.
16 police services united for the kick off at Humber College’s north campus in Etobicoke, handing out reward booklets containing important safety information, as well as coupons, as a thank you for those who have been driving sober.
“Since it’s inception in 1977, the R.I.D.E. program has greatly assisted in changing people’s attitude towards drinking and driving,” said Toronto Deputy Police Chief James Ramer, “Despite this progress there still exists drivers who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol.”
Toronto police say 1,214 drivers have been charged in 2016 with impaired driving-related offences, compared to 1,177 drivers from this time last year.
Of 71 fatal collisions in Toronto this year, seven involved drinking and driving.
There were also 79 impaired by drug arrests compared to 24 in 2015.
“This behavior is unacceptable, completely preventable, and will not be tolerated on our roadways,” said Ramer.
Police are urging drinkers to use transit, designated drivers and taxi services when out enjoying the holiday season.
In addition, officers are asking others to assist police in the war against impaired driving by calling 911 if they believe another driver may be impaired.
The campaign will run to January first.