The South Simcoe Police Service joined today with public safety partner MADD Simcoe County to launch the 2021 Festive RIDE Campaign.
InnisfilToday had the opportunity to chat with some of the officers involved in the campaign, and see first hand how the equipment used at a RIDE stop works.
Within the first hour of the RIDE set up on Innisfil Beach Road Friday afternoon, there were two drivers charged with Cannabis Readily Available.
South Simcoe Police are leaders in the province using the newer Drager DrugTest 5000 devices which are able to detect THC and cocaine use from a saliva sample.
"You've been warned," said Deputy Chief John Van Dyke at the kickoff event outside North Division in Innisfil, speaking directly to those who choose to drive impaired by alcohol, drugs or both. "For the next seven weeks, a dedicated team of officers will be focused on catching impaired drivers. This team will be everywhere – on major roads, rural roads, side roads and if the lake freezes, they will be patrolling on the ice."
The South Simcoe Police Service conducts RIDE checks year-round but there is increased enforcement levels during the annual festive campaign with the deployment of additional officers from several units.
After many in-person celebrations cancelled last year due to COVID, police expect to see an increase in impaired charges as holiday parties and activities resume.
The President of the Simcoe County Chapter of MADD Canada, Drew Sinclair, also spoke at the Festive RIDE launch. Sinclair noted impaired driving is easily avoided with today's access to taxis, designated driving services and ride-sharing apps. The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, he said, not grieving the loss of a loved one.
"There's no reason for anyone to lose their life in an impaired driving crash."
Impaired driving is a choice. Police urge you to make the right choice for road safety. Drive sober, or don't drive. Let's work together to make this a safe, happy holiday season.