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More than 600 charged with impaired

(File photo)

(File photo)

Ontario Provincial Police wrapped up this year's Festive Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) campaign on a sad note during the weekend, with a total of six people losing their lives in impaired driving-related incidents over the seven-week period.

Preliminary data shows five of the deaths involved a vehicle collision, with the sixth being off-road vehicle-related.

Over and above these tragic, preventable deaths, many innocent road users were injured in some 270 OPP-investigated collisions during the campaign, in which an impaired driver was a factor.

OPP officers conducted more than 7,340 RIDE-stop initiatives throughout the province, charging 610 drivers with impaired driving between Nov. 21, 2016 and Jan. 7, 2017.

OPP drug recognition evaluators also took part, laying drug-impaired driving charges to 22 of the 610 charged drivers.

Through the OPP drug evaluation and classification program, these officers have the tools and expertise they need to test for and detect drug impairment in drivers.

During the campaign, an additional 388 drivers were issued 'warn' range suspensions for driving with a blood-alcohol concentration between .05 and .08 – a range that also impairs one’s ability to drive safely and poses a danger to others on the road.

Heading into the new year, the OPP is reminding Ontarians that they all have a role to play in ending impaired driving-related deaths.

Make a commitment to never drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.

If you suspect that someone is driving while impaired, call 911 to report them to police.

In doing so, you could be saving lives. 

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