Aurora, Ontario – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have announced the annual Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign, which will run from November 25, 2011 to January 1, 2012.

During last year’s campaign, the OPP laid 308 impaired driving charges and issued 903 “warn range” and administrative driver’s license suspensions.

Impaired driving continues to be the leading cause of criminal death in Canada. As of mid-November 2011, 40 people have died in alcohol-related collisions on OPP-patrolled roads and highways. While this is lower than the same period last year, when 75 people lost their lives, even one alcohol-related death is one too many, the force said.

“Year after year, our Festive R.I.D.E. campaign proves effective in taking impaired drivers off our roads,” said C/Supt. Don Bell, Commander, OPP Highway Safety Division. “If you’re drinking, come up with a plan that involves not driving, such as taking a cab, a bus or have a designated driver. Don’t drink and drive, don’t let those who are drinking drive, and be sure to report those who do.”

Motorists who refuse a breath test will be charged with a criminal code offence and their licenses will be immediately suspended for 90 days. Those who blow in the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) “warn range” of .05 to .08 will receive an immediate roadside 3-day driver’s license suspension. The suspension period increases with subsequent offences to 7 and then to 30 days.

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