OPP commander Scott Lawson calls RIDE statistics “˜discouraging”™

Efforts to stop drinking and driving during the holiday season provided some discouraging results as one in every 16 vehicles stopped were driven by operators who had consumed alcohol.

“With the sheer volume of vehicles being stopped by our officers we are seeing these somewhat discouraging results where one in every 16 vehicles stopped (are driven by someone who has) consumed some level of alcohol says,” said Wellington County OPP detachment commander  Inspector Scott Lawson.  

Wellington OPP deployed a festive RIDE team again this year.

“This is the second year a team of officers has been dedicated solely to detecting and apprehending impaired drivers from our county roadways during the holiday season RIDE campaigns” said Lawson.

“Our goal is always to ensure we keep our community safe from those who continue to make poor decisions and get behind the wheel when they have consumed alcohol or taken drugs.”

This year’s campaign commenced on Nov. 20, and runs until Jan. 11. The RIDE team consists of four OPP officers working alongside regular uniformed members. The RIDE programs have been very active throughout the county both day and night. The locations throughout Wellington County have been strategically identified to maximize their effectiveness, the inspector said.

“Our officers are very dedicated to keeping our roadways safe. They are highly trained in recognizing driver impairment both by alcohol and drug and are committed to looking beyond the plate of those motorists who are stopped,” Lawson added.

Throughout the campaign our officers are averaging approximately 450 vehicles per shift resulting in 7,895 vehicles checked; 389 approved screening device tests (drivers who consumed alcohol but breath samples were less than 50 mg); 23 over 80mg charge/impaired; 60 three-day administrative driver’s license suspensions; 4 seven-day administrative driver’s licence suspensions; 15 criminal charges; 40 drug charges; 25 liquor charges; 129 Highway Traffic Act charges; and 18 Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act charges

Wellington County OPP ask drivers to “be smart and do their part” – don’t drive if they  have consumed alcohol and to call 911 if they suspect a driver is impaired.