Aurora, Ontario – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will launch the annual OPP Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) on Friday, November 27, 2009. The program will run through to Saturday, January 2, 2010.

As of November 22, 271 people have died on OPP-patrolled roadways in 2009, 42 of which were alcohol-related collisions. While the OPP continues to conduct R.I.D.E. spot checks throughout the year, the Festive R.I.D.E. initiative has proven to be an effective deterrent and an important tool in educating the driving public about the dangers of driving while impaired.

During the five-week campaign in 2008, OPP officers stopped 884,729 vehicles at roadside checkpoints, arresting and charging 319 people with criminal code alcohol-related offences. Officers also issued a total of 784 twelve-hour suspensions, and issued 353 ninety-day Administrative Drivers Licence Suspensions.

Since May 2009, under the Safe Roads for a Safer Ontario Act, the former 12-hour administrative suspension for drivers whose blood alcohol concentration exceeds .05 milligrams has been replaced with a graded licence suspension period that includes a three-day suspension for a first offence, a seven-day suspension for a second offence, and 30 days for subsequent suspensions.

For regular updates on the 2009 Festive R.I.D.E. program, visit OPP.

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