(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The Thunder Bay Police Service has concluded its 2019 Festive RIDE program, reporting record highs across all measured categories when compared to the 2018 campaign.
The 2019 season launched on November 25th, with the TBPS and Ontario Provincial Police teaming up on Dawson Road to announce that officers would be patrolling the streets and highways looking to remove impaired drivers and making the roads safer for all during the holiday season.
Within 36 hours of the launch, however, the TBPS had already netted its first impaired driver; a female was arrested for drug-impaired driving on Junot Avenue South. The following afternoon, an individual speeding in the vicinity of Boulevard Lake was arrested and charged for impaired operation by drugs.
In total, officers conducted over a dozen focused nighttime RIDE checkpoint programs, and members of the Traffic Unit conducted sobriety checks throughout the daytime, reminding motorists that impaired driving and the associated risks occur at all hours. As a result of their efforts, 26 individuals were arrested and charged with impaired operation, either by alcohol, drug, or both. In addition, 13 people were issued short-term licence suspensions for providing breath samples in the warning range. One person was issued a licence suspension for testing positive for drugs on approved drug screening equipment.
Novice and young drivers showed a marked increase in violation rates. Whereas in 2018, where only one such driver tested positive for alcohol or drug in any amount, seven novice and/or young drivers had their driving privileges suspended for three-day periods as a result of positive test results.
Other individuals charged were 15 suspended or prohibited drivers, 5 motorists for driving without automobile insurance, and 7 individuals either subject to arrest warrants or committing other criminal offences.
In total, it is estimated that officers interacted with nearly 1800 drivers this Festive RIDE season, and are pleased to report that the majority of drivers were doing so responsibly and with consideration for others sharing the roads.
The Service’s efforts at combating impaired driving in Thunder Bay does not end with the Festive RIDE season. The public is reminded that officers are always looking at removing dangerous drivers from our roadways. If you suspect someone to be an impaired driver, please call 911 and report this offence.