Sault Ste Marie police launch Festive RIDE program

SAULT STE MARIE–The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is committed to ensuring our roads are safe.  In keeping with our current business plan Chief Keetch is committed to reducing impaired driving.

December is the start of the holiday season with parties and social activities.  It is also the start of the 2014 Festive Season RIDE Program.

The Festive Season RIDE Program is funded by a provincial grant from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. This grant allows Chief Keetch to conduct RIDE checks more often during the festive season by utilizing patrol officers and extra duty officers.

In keeping with a proactive approach the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service will be partnering with officers from the Ontario Provincial Police as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This will allow for joint roadside checks throughout the City and Prince Township at all times of day and night.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is not the only offence that can be committed.  Drivers can also be charged for driving under the influence of drugs.  The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service has 3 officers trained and recognized as Drug Recognitions Experts and the Ontario Provincial Police have one officer.  In Canada there are almost 500 officers trained and recognized in drug use detection.

Drivers are reminded if you are charged with over the legal limit or refusing a breath test they are subject to an immediate 90 drivers licence suspension and a 7 day vehicle impoundment.  Upon conviction a driver will lose their licence for one year and be subject to a heavy fine.  A second conviction will result in the three year licence loss and 14 days in jail. A third conviction will result in a life time suspension with 90 days in jail. The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service releases the names of all persons charged with impaired related offences as well.

If you suspect a driver is impaired, call 911 to report it.  Still too often drivers are making bad decisions and choose to drive while impaired.

You can do your part to keep our roads safe as well:

  • If you are going to be drinking take a cab or arrange for a designated driver
  • Don’t combine prescription drugs, illegal drugs and/or alcohol
  • Don’t use illegal drugs
  • As a host, monitor your guests.  If you don’t think someone should drive, don’t let them. Make alternate arrangements for them

The 2013 Festive Season RIDE Program resulted in 2,621 vehicles being checked, 8 drivers were arrested and charged with alcohol related offences.

Do your part to make this a safe holiday season for everyone on the road, including yourself. Don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  You have too much to lose.