Enforcement Ramps Up For Holidays

Law enforcement agencies across Canada intend to be very visible with zero tolerance for impaired driving this holiday season. That means random DUI checkpoints and patrols seeking out impaired drivers.

The Ontario Provincial Police operate a monitoring program named RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) during the holiday season. This program sees police seek out impaired motorists during the morning commute and throughout the day.

“During the holidays there’s increased socialization, often with drinking involved. Certainly, we want people to plan ahead as to how they’re going to get back,” said Angeliki Souranis, national president of MADD Canada. “It doesn’t make sense to come out of the club or a party and start figuring it out.”

DUI checkpoints are a major part of the enforcement effort. These randomly placed checkpoints enable officers to observe drivers for signs of intoxication.

Routine checkpoints can cut alcohol-related fatal crashes by 20 percent, according for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Saturation patrols--specialized forces tasked with driving around looking for impaired drivers--will be a constant as well, police said.

Officials offered the following advice and background about impaired driving:

  • Consider the cost. Between court costs, getting a vehicle out of impound and other administrative fees, the average cost of a DUI conviction is $10,000.
  • Impairment comes in all forms. Drivers abusing prescription medicine, narcotics or other illicit substances are at-risk of a DUI arrest.
  • Plan ahead. Designate a driver. Call a cab. Use a ridesharing service. Find a place to spend the night.