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  Festive R.I.D.E. Campaign Underway

Nov 17, 2016 12:27 ET

DRPS joined community partners today in Whitby to bring home the message that impaired driving will not be tolerated on our roads.

Members of the DRPS Traffic Services Branch and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Durham Chapter kicked off the annual Festive R.I.D.E campaign at the Region of Durham Paramedic Services headquarters, aiming to keep our roads safe for the citizens in our community. They were joined by members of the OPP, Whitby Fire and local officials to show support for the annual initiative.

DRPS has earned the reputation of having one of the best Festive R.I.D.E. teams in Ontario, removing 610 impaired drivers from our roads during the holiday season over the past five years. Last year, our R.I.D.E. members arrested 118 impaired drivers and issued 129 License Suspensions.

DRPS Deputy Chief Chris Fernandes spoke at the launch recognizing that one-third of all fatalities in Durham Region are alcohol-related. He encouraged members of the public to plan ahead and arrange for alternate transportation if they are planning on drinking alcohol.

Michelle Crabb from MADD Durham Chapter lost a brother to an impaired driver and made a plea to the community to help in stopping this violent crime. "It's a shame we have to keeping doing these events year after year because people don't get the message," she said. "The message is clear and we need to keep the momentum going in order to keep our roads safe."

MADD Durham presented the Officer of the Year award to DRPS Cst. Thomas Broadfoot who unfortunately wasn't able to attend the kick-off. MADD Durham also launched its annual red ribbon campaign encouraging everyone to stop impaired driving everywhere.

In 2015, DRPS officers investigated 798 impaired driving incidents, with 31 of those being impaired by drugs. To date, 741 incidents of impaired driving have been investigated in 2016 with 32 of those involving drugs. New legislation introduced in October 2016 included harsher penalties for drivers impaired by drugs and drivers caught high behind the wheel will have their driver's license suspended just like those caught driving drunk.

Festive R.I.D.E. officers will take to the streets Thursday night and continue until early January to keep our roads safe. Weekly updates will be provided every Monday morning, including the publishing of names of those charged with drinking and driving offences on the DRPS website.

For more information regarding the Festive R.I.D.E. campaign, contact D/Cst. Todd Gribbons of the Traffic Services Branch at 1-888- 579-1520 ext. 5225.

Below are attached files.
RIDE Team (JPG file, 327.9K bytes)
Deputy Fernandes speaks at the launch (JPG file, 429.2K bytes)
Michelle Crabb of MADD Durham lost a brother to an impaired driver (JPG file, 4,979.9K bytes)
Cutting the ribbon on the MADD Red Ribbon Campaign (JPG file, 1,303.9K bytes)