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ORILLIA, ONTARIO  -  November 22, 2018  (LSN)  OPP Launches Festive RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) Campaign (November 23 - January 2, 2019)

Heading into the first Festive RIDE campaign since the legalization of non-medical cannabis, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding drivers that they are as prepared to deal with drug-impaired drivers over the holidays as those who are alcohol-impaired.

So far this year (2018), alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in the deaths of 39 people on OPP-patrolled roads.       

From January 1 to mid-October 2018, (the OPP's latest data) the OPP laid more than 6,700 impaired driving charges across the province, 283 of which were impaired by drugs.

"Drivers who consume cannabis and think they can avoid detection by the OPP need to think again. The OPP has a strong set of tools and skills that enable them to take drug and alcohol-impaired drivers off our roads. Whether a person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, impaired is impaired. Both forms are dangerous, serious criminal offences and they carry similar penalties."

- Interim Deputy Commissioner Rose DiMarco, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support. 

"Make no mistake - just because recreational cannabis has been legalized doesn't mean you can drive while under the influence. Driving impaired - whether from drugs or alcohol - remains a serious criminal offence. I want to assure the public that police officers across the province have received the training they need to identify drug-impaired drivers and will continue to keep roads and highways safe."

- Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

"It's never okay to drive impaired, whether by alcohol or drugs. There are strict laws and penalties in place for offenders, including a zero tolerance policy for young, novice and commercial drivers. Safety has been and will continue to be our primary focus."

- Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation



The OPP's Standardized Field Sobriety Test-trained officers and Drug Recognition Experts have been in place for years and continue to prove effective in identifying drug-impaired drivers.

Novice, young (under 22) and commercial vehicle drivers cannot have any alcohol or drugs in their system while driving.

When transporting cannabis in a vehicle, it must be in its original package that has not been opened, or it can be packaged in baggage that is fastened closed or is not otherwise readily available to any person in the vehicle.  

If you suspect that a person is driving or about to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs, you should call 9-1-1 to report them to police.




North West Region Headquarters, Thunder Bay

OPP  Lake Superior News

Northwest Region is comprised of 11 detachments and 13 satellite offices ... Areas Served, Kenora District ; Rainy River District ; Thunder Bay District.

Regional Headquarters: 615 James St S, 2nd Flr, Thunder Bay, Ont



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