The Festive RIDE season is upon us – please do not drive impaired

As holiday gatherings return, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), the Ottawa Insurance Brokers Association and MADD Ottawa remind everyone not to drive impaired.

“It’s exciting to see family and friends or celebrate the holidays with coworkers, but as you plan your festivities, include a plan to get home safe,” says Sgt. Troy Froats, with OPS Impaired Countermeasures. Sgt. Froats says there are plenty of options available. “Take public transit, a taxi or arrange a ride with a sober driver. There’s no excuse for impaired driving.” 

If you are hosting a party, there are things you can do to prevent impaired driving. Serve food to your guests, keep an eye on alcohol and drug intake, don’t let anyone who is impaired get behind the wheel. It is an offence to operate a conveyance while impaired by alcohol or drugs to any degree – including cannabis and prescription drugs.

Persons charged with impaired driving face an immediate 90 day driving suspension and lose their vehicle for seven days. If convicted, an impaired driver can face a minimum one-year driving suspension and monetary fines. “That may be the lesser issue, when you consider the risk that a driver may have to live with a resulting tragedy as a consequence of their decision to drive impaired,” emphasized Sgt. Froats.

A reminder that the same rules apply to All Terrain Vehicles, bikes and snowmobiles. “There will no doubt be people out on the trails during the festive season, but the same rules and penalties apply, as do the risks and consequences.” 

If you suspect someone is driving impaired, call 9-1-1. The Festive RIDE campaign runs every weekend until January 2022.


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