As the holiday season approaches, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service would like to remind residents to be responsible as the annual Festive RIDE Campaign gets underway, a release issued today states.
"We urge everyone in our community to plan ahead when attending holiday functions," the release says. "Call a friend, family member, taxi or ride sharing company to get home. Do not drink or use drugs and drive."
Full text of the release follows:
This year has proven, maybe more than any year in recent memory, the importance of family and keeping each other safe. The holiday season especially is a time for enjoying time with friends, family and loved ones. With the launch of the Festive RIDE Campaign, we want to remind everyone to celebrate responsibly.
During the 2019 campaign 1,705 vehicles were checked. Those checks resulted in the following:
• 16 roadside tests conducted
• zero three day licence suspensions
• seven criminal charges for blood alcohol concentration .80 plus
• 16 Highway Traffic Act charges
RIDE, or Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere, initiatives take place year round; however this time of year is especially busy on area roads in our communities. Collaboratively with our policing partners we will be conducting roadside checks throughout the holiday season.
We urge everyone in our community to plan ahead when attending holiday functions. Call a friend, family member, taxi or ride sharing company to get home. Do not drink or use drugs and drive.
For others on area roads, if you see or suspect someone is driving impaired, call 911. The Highway Traffic Act allows drivers who are calling police, fire or ambulance to use their cell phone while driving.
Throughout the pandemic we have all learned how important each of us are in keeping our community safe. If you choose to drink or use drugs, do not drive.
If you are caught driving while impaired you could face the suspension of your driver’s licence, vehicle impoundment, fines and jail time. For drivers under the age of 22, as well as G1, G2 and commercial drivers, if you are caught with ANY alcohol or cannabis in your system you could face an automatic three day licence suspension.
Once charged with excess blood alcohol, refusing a breath test, refusing a drug recognition expert (DRE) demand or if a DRE determines your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs, a motorist is subject to an immediate 90-day driver’s licence suspension and seven day vehicle impoundment.
If you are convicted, drivers will face suspensions, heavy fines, vehicle impoundments, mandatory alcohol education and treatment programs and the ignition interlock program.
Let’s all do our part to keep Sault Ste. Marie and Prince Township safe. Again, if you choose to drink or use drugs, do not drive.