The Ride Program has been active year round; however with the holiday season upon us, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service has launched the 2015 Festive Season R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) Program.
The Sault Ste Marie Police remains committed to getting impaired drivers off the roads in the City of Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area. This year’s program, partly funded by a provincial grant from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, will include regular uniform patrol officers along with extra duty officers from the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and its policing partners.
During the 2015 Festive campaign 2171 vehicles were checked with 6 drivers charged with impaired driving offences and 6 issued 3- day driving suspensions for registering WARN on a roadside screening device.
Several families in the Sault Ste Marie area have had their lives changed forever by the loss of a loved one due to the poor decisions made by a driver who chose to drink and drive.
The Sault Ste Marie Police Service will be partnering with officers from the Ontario Provincial Police Highway Safety Division, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Anishinabek Police Service to conduct joint roadside checks throughout the city and surrounding area. These checks will take place at all times of day and night throughout Sault Ste Marie and the surrounding area.
One of the best resources the Police have in combating drinking and driving is the public. If you see a driver who you believe may be driving while his ability is impaired, call 911. The HTA allows drivers who are calling Police, Fire or Ambulance to use their cell phone while driving. Several impaired drivers caught this year were as result of alert motorists who called 911.
Those drivers who choose to drink and drive are reminded of the consequences. Those who register a Warn on a roadside screening device face an immediate licence suspension of 3,7, or 30 days. Those who register a “fail”, indicating a Blood Alcohol Level above .08 or Refusing a Breath Test, are subject to an immediate 90-day drivers licence suspension and 7 day vehicle impoundment. On being convicted, drivers will face suspensions, heavy fines, vehicle impoundments, mandatory alcohol education and treatment programs, and the ignition interlock program. Depending on the number of prior convictions, you may be fined up to $50,000, serve time in jail and lose your licence permanently. Also keep in mind that the names of the offenders will be published in the local media during the RIDE Program.
There are still too many drivers making a poor decision to drink and drive and/or using drugs when driving, with tragic consequences. This holiday season, don’t be one of them. If you choose to drink, don’t drive. If you spot a driver you suspect is impaired, call 911 immediately.