November 16, 2022 at 3:30 am
Ontario Provincial Police in Essex County are preparing for another holiday to keep roads safe.
OPP kicked off its annual Festive RIDE (Reducing Accessible Driving) event on Wednesday.
The RIDE program runs throughout Windsor-Essex throughout the year, while the Festival RIDE program aims to ensure everyone gets home safely during the holidays. The holiday edition of RIDE will run until January 2, 2023.
OPP Constable Steven Duguay said officers will ensure drivers are not behind the wheel while drinking or taking drugs.
“Motorists are reminded that officers conduct mandatory alcohol screenings on a regular basis [MAS] Along with drivers who have been pulled over legally, they will intensify this investigative measure throughout the campaign, including RIDE stops,” Duguay said. “So what does that mean? Now in its fifth year, under MAS law, officers with approved alcohol-screening devices can request a breath sample from any driver without a reasonable suspicion that they have alcohol in their system. “
Ontario law also allows OPP officials to require drivers to undergo on-site sobriety testing and evaluation by Drug Recognition Experts (DREs).
During last year’s holiday season’s Festive RIDE event, OPP officials charged 17 DUI drivers in Windsor-Essex. A total of 655 drivers were arrested in Ontario during last year’s Festival RIDE event.