London police didn’t nab any drunk drivers during this year’s RIDE programs–and they’re trumpeting it as a victory.
During the month of December, police did make impaired driving arrests through conventional enforcement tools, but the popular RIDE program–wherein police conduct random roadside checks at city hot spots–yielded no charges.
London Police Service traffic enforcement officer Sgt. Amanda Pfeffer says that while drivers need to be aware of RIDE checks throughout the year, it’s encouraging that more seem to be getting the message that drunk driving is both dangerous and criminal–especially during the holiday season, which often sees spikes in charges.
“There were individuals that were arrested and charged with impaired driving over the month of December, however as a result of RIDE programs no one was arrested. And this is a great success,” Pfeffer said.
Last year, the OPP in the region laid almost 600 impaired driving charges during its holiday blitz.
Official stats for London haven’t been released yet, but Pfeffer said “thousands” of drivers were stopped as part of the initiative, which partners Ontario police agencies with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to curb one of the top killers on the roads.
“Although the holiday season has concluded, we will still be conducting our RIDE programs all year long. And I think that sometimes is a message that gets lost as well, the public sometimes does not realize that these RIDE programs are conducted 12 months of the year,” Pfeffer said. “We have to remember that it’s important to refresh these messages, very regularly in the public eye. We certainly had some very tragic collisions this year as a result of impaired driving and we didn’t want to see that over the course of the holiday season.”