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Festive RIDE campaign launches in Sudbury

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The annual Festive RIDE campaign launched Tuesday in Greater Sudbury. It’s a message that gets repeated year after year.

In Sudbury last year, 290 drivers were charged with impaired driving. This year it’s 268 so far -- and counting.

Insp. Marc Brunette said the campaign is an opportunity to remind citizens that operating a motor vehicle while impaired is a criminal choice.

“It’s one that’s not tolerated,” Brunette said.

We encourage persons, if they witness or suspect operation of motor vehicles while under the influence, to report to the police so that action can be taken and we in partnership can keep our community safe.”

Police across the region will be out during the Holiday season at RIDE checks to make sure roads are safe and drivers are not impaired.

“It’s unfortunate we have to do this every year and bring out the same message that impaired driving is a criminal offence and is not tolerated – whether it be impaired by alcohol or drugs,” said OPP Const. Rob Lewis.

Kim Hancock knows all too well about the dangers of drinking and driving. She lost her son D-J to an impaired driver in 2014.

“It affects everybody and different families, like DJ’s death affected so many more people than even we know,” Hancock said.

“We still hear of people who say we know your story and we think of you all the time. It shouldn’t be like that. We shouldn’t have to deal with that.”

Safe Ride Home will be operating each weekend throughout the Holiday season. Volunteers help drive people and their vehicles home after they’ve been drinking.

“Get that safety message out to plan ahead and not to drive impaired. There are many options out there,” said Safe Ride Home president Lesli Green.

The festive RIDE program will be set up at various checkpoints across the region until Jan 2. 

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