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Crime

Nearly 100 drivers charged with impaired driving over holiday season in Eastern Ontario: OPP

Tue, Dec 18: New, tougher impaired laws are now in effect in Canada when it comes to breathalyzer tests. Jill Croteau has more on what you can expect if you get pulled over.

The OPP East division announced Thursday that they have laid almost 100 charges of impaired driving as part of their festive RIDE programs.

Between Nov. 23, 2018, and Jan. 2, 2019, officers conducted over 2,700 RIDE programs. As a result of those programs, 97 drivers were charged with driving while impaired by alcohol. Eight additional drivers were charged with being impaired by drugs.

READ MORE: New roadside breathalyzer law exercised during Kelowna RCMP checkstop

Those charged with impaired driving can have their vehicles impounded for 30 days and their license suspended for 90 days.

An additional 68 drivers were issued licence suspensions after registering in the “warning” range on approved roadside testing devices.

The “warning” range, according to police, is a blood alcohol content of .05 to .079. For anyone under 22, the warning is 0 – 0.79. Drivers in that range can face a three-day license suspension.

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READ MORE: Supreme Court of Canada sets new rules for how accused drunk drivers can get breathalyzer records

As of Dec. 18, police can now demand a breathalyzer test even without a reason to suspect a driver is impaired. Refusal of a breathalyzer can lead to further charges.

RIDE programs were held across the province by other divisions. While the East region had the third-highest amount of charges laid, they also had double the amount of programs out. Chief superintendent Chris Harkins, who commands the division, says that the numbers are still concerning.

“One impaired driver is too many”, said Harkins in a release. “It’s very disappointing to see that so many people are making bad choices to drive after consuming drugs or alcohol.”

Impaired driving charges by division:

  • Central division – 104
  • North-West division – 37
  • North-East division – 40
  • Greater Toronto Area – 89
  • West division – 135
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