OPP puts more officers on streets to catch impaired drivers this New Year’s Eve

Published: December 31, 2018

Updated: February 1, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have joined the chorus of organizations calling for Canadians to stay safe this New Year’s Eve. Specifically, OPP is urging motorists to leave their vehicle behind if they consume alcohol or cannabis.

To help prevent impaired driving, OPP will place more officers on patrol on New Year’s Eve. In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), police have handed 1,433 impaired driving charges through 2018. In November, the Festive RIDE campaign was started, seeking to reduce impaired driving through the Holiday Season.

Since the launch of Festive RIDE on Nov. 23, police have laid 144 impaired driving charges, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt confirmed on Twitter.

“It is New Year’s Eve and a lot of people are going to be out there celebrating the countdown at midnight, and with that comes champagne or alcohol or all sorts of intoxicants that could impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle,” he said.

“If you want to be out there celebrating . . . make sure you have a plan of how you’re going to be getting home.”

To help people get home from parties, TTC and GO Transit are offering free rides. Schmidt says impaired driving is “completely unacceptable”, especially with so many options open to people.

“People are dying because of this. The number of fatalities will be calculated and released in the coming days, and we certainly don’t want to see that number climb any more than what it already has been, especially on a night like tonight,” he said.

“If you are going to be out driving and you’ve had alcohol in your system, you need to put those keys away. You need to give them to somebody else, but make that plan beforehand.”