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Published January 2, 2024

OPP release grim numbers from Festive RIDE campaign

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Ontario Provincial Police snared more motorists for impaired driving during the Festive RIDE campaign this year compared to the previous two years.

The campaign ran from Nov. 16, 2023 until Jan. 1, 2024.

"On average, the OPP charged nearly 20 drivers every day with impaired driving," said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt in a video posted to X on Tuesday. "916 drivers were charged with impaired driving and 1,471 charges were laid during the Festive Ride campaign."

Schmidt said from Christmas Day until New Year's Eve, OPP laid 199 impaired driving charges, which is a 21 per cent increase over the same week in 2022.

For all of 2023, police on OPP-patrolled roads laid over 11,000 impaired driving charges, which is seven per cent more than 2022 and even more than 2021.

Schmidt said this is happening because "people are dying as a result of preventable causes," referencing the so-called "Big Four."

50 people died in drug or alcohol-related crashes last year, Schmidt stated in the video, while 94 people died in speeding or aggressive driving crashes, and all together, 404 people died in motor vehicle crashes across the province.

When marine and off-road vehicle incidents are added, the number spikes to 453.

"About a third of the 26 people who died in off-road crashes died in a collision involving drugs and alcohol," said Schmidt. "About a quarter of the 23 people who died in marine fatalities died as a result of drugs and alcohol."

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