OPP enhancing impaired driving enforcement after 31% increase in incidents

Photo by Logan Cadue/Kingstonist.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) aim to save more lives by enhancing its impaired driving enforcement efforts.

According to a release from the OPP, 385 people lost their lives in impaired driving-related collisions on OPP-patrolled roads between 2018 and the end of 2023.

“During the same period, impaired driving-related collisions have steadily climbed, with 2023 marking a 31 per cent increase when compared to the numbers during the previous five years. Impaired driving charges are also up 33 per cent over the same six-year period,” the province-wide police force stated.

“The increases are a clear sign that many drivers are not doing their part to keep fellow road users safe.”

The OPP said that motorists must be prepared to provide a breath sample during a traffic stop. Under Canada’s Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS) law, drivers must comply with a police officer’s demand for a breath sample, even in the absence of any suspicion that they have consumed alcohol.

According to the release, MAS remains an effective measure for enhancing the police’s ability to detect and investigate impaired drivers and remove them from our roads.

“Now more than ever, drivers should expect a demand for a breath test from an officer during a traffic stop,” stated OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, from the Highway Safety Division, in response to Kingstonist inquiries.

“The OPP RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) program remains another effective way to detect and investigate impaired drivers. Drivers can expect to see this continue year-round and should be prepared to provide a breath sample during any lawful traffic stop.”   

Anyone who suspects that a driver is impaired is asked to call 911.

“By doing so, you could be saving a life,” OPP said.

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