Russell County Ontario Provincial Police officers kicked off the Festive RIDE program last week, the safety campaign aimed at stopping impaired drivers during the holidays. Russell may ask for drug and alcohol tests of any lawfully stopped driver.
During the Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign, running from November 16, 2023, until January 1, 2024, motorists will see an increased presence of OPP officers on the road and at checkpoints throughout the region. Officers can ask lawfully stopped drivers to submit to roadside drug and alcohol tests such as an Approved Screening Device (ASD) test, a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST), or a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation.
As per the Mandatory Alcohol Screening law, officers who have an Approved Screening Device (ASD) can demand a roadside breath sample from any lawfully stopped driver without first having to suspect the motorist has been drinking. Anyone who refuses can be charged with failing or refusing to provide a breath sample.
« No family should lose a loved one in a collision that involves alcohol or drugs, especially during the holidays,” stated OPP Commissioner Thomas Cararique in a press release. “Driving sober and drug free is critical to preventing road fatalities and injuries. You can help make roads even safer by calling 9-1-1 if you see a suspected impaired driver. Let’s work together to make this the safest holiday season yet. »