(ESSEX COUNTY, ON) – Festive RIDE kicks off Wednesday, November 16, 2022, for the Essex County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), don’t be surprised to see officers out conducting RIDE checks throughout Essex County.
While the Festive RIDE program runs until January 2, 2023, officers conduct RIDE checks year-round looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Motorists are reminded that officers regularly conduct Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS) with drivers who are lawfully pulled over and they will be ramping up this investigative measure, including RIDE stops, throughout the campaign. So, what does this mean? Heading into its fifth year, under the MAS law, an officer with an approved alcohol screening device can demand a breath sample from any driver without having a reasonable suspicion that they have alcohol in their body.
Under impaired driving laws, the OPP can also demand that a driver submit to a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation. SFST- trained officers and DREs have the expertise to detect impairment by alcohol, drugs, or both in a driver.
So, make a year-round commitment to driving sober and planning ahead to get yourself and others home safely.
Last year, Essex County OPP concluded its annual Festive RIDE, charging 17 drivers with impaired driving. A total of 655 drivers were charged for driving while impaired on OPP patrolled roads and trails in Ontario.
Over and above the charges, officers issued 10 Warn Range suspensions to drivers in Essex County whose roadside breath test registered a Blood Alcohol Concentration between 50 and 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
Photo by Chris Anson