OPP's Festive RIDE campaign starts Thursday

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The Nipissing West detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police will be on the watch for impaired drivers as part of the Festive RIDE campaign.

The program runs from Thursday to Jan. 3.

Police services across the province take part in holiday RIDE programs aimed at taking alcohol and drug-impaired drivers off our roads.

The mandatory alcohol screening (MAS) law, allows police officers in possession of an approved screening device who lawfully pull over a driver in a RIDE initiative (or through any other lawful traffic stop) to demand a breath sample without having reasonable suspicion that the driver has alcohol in their body.

Police also can demand a driver to 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. This is another tool used to enforce the provincial “zero tolerance” sanctions that apply to young (under 22), novice and commercial drivers who are suspected of having the presence of drugs and/or alcohol in their body.

Drivers and passengers also are reminded to adhere to strictly enforced laws that address transportation of cannabis in motor vehicles.

No amount of alcohol or drugs, which includes edibles, in your body is safe when driving. Motorists can expect to see officers conducting RIDE checks at any time of day and night, not only during the festive season, but throughout the year.

Nipissing West OPP members conducted 257 programs in last year’s campaign, laid 11 impaired driving charges and issued four warn-range suspensions.

Anyone who suspects a person is driving or about to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs is asked to call 911.

”If you’re going to drink and/or consume drugs, make sure to plan ahead and don’t drive impaired,” Nipissing West detachment commander Insp. Michael Maville says.

“Let’s keep our roads safe and ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safely. Drink responsibly, and enjoy the holiday season.”

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