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RIDE, Project Red Ribbon campaign targeting impaired drivers

With the number of impaired-related criminal driving charges continuing to rise, York Regional Police will be out every day and night from now through to New Year’s Day conducting RIDE spot checks
MADD red ribbon ride impaired driving police 2016
File photo

York Regional Police launched its enhanced festive season RIDE campaign last night, Nov. 21, 2018 in conjunction with MADD Canada’s Project Red Ribbon.

Officers will be out every day and night from now through to New Year’s Day conducting RIDE spot checks and watching for suspected impaired drivers. The community has experienced far too many tragic incidents as a result of impaired driving and despite the loss of so many lives, drivers still continue to put innocent people at risk. 

The number of impaired-related criminal driving charges continues to rise. So far in 2018, officers have laid 1,210 charges, which is up from this time last year where 1,172 charges had been laid. There have also been five fatal collisions that have taken place in York Region in 2018 where alcohol or drugs are considered contributing factors.

While alcohol continues to be the intoxicant in the majority of incidents of impaired driving, since the legalization of cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018, there have been 10 charges laid of impaired by drug. York Regional Police continues to be concerned that the number of offences where drivers are found to be impaired by cannabis will increase.

Impaired driving remains the number one criminal cause of death in Canada and according to MADD Canada, every day, on average, up to four Canadians are killed in alcohol and/or drug-related motor vehicle collisions and hundreds more are injured.

The Project Red Ribbon campaign helps keep the sober driving message top of mind during the busy holiday season. With parties and celebrations plentiful, the risk for impaired driving is especially high. The red ribbon is a small but powerful symbol of the wearer’s commitment to sober driving.

Throughout the enhanced festive season RIDE campaign, officers will also be handing drivers a card depicting the Not One More campaign, as a result of the devastating collision that claimed the lives of the Neville-Lake children and their grandfather in Sept. 2015. The awareness cards feature artwork done by friends of the Neville-Lake family and serves as an effective reminder of the far-reaching impact that impaired driving can have, not only on the families involved, but on the community as a whole.

The legal consequences of an impaired driving charge can include roadside vehicle impoundment and automatic driver’s license suspension as well as further consequences imposed by the courts, including longer licence suspensions, large fines and in some cases, jail time.

York Regional Police thanks members of the community for helping us stop and arrest impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 through the Safe Roads...Your Call program. We consider these incidents a life-threatening crime in progress and will continue to respond to these calls.

We’re not giving up.