More people in Burlington get scooped in RIDE program than anywhere else in the Region.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  January 10, 2012  –  Halton Regional Police released statistics on the number of people caught in the net they put out during the holiday season to apprehend those stupid enough to think they can drink and drive.  If you’re were one of the people who got the card with an illustration – hope you said thanks to the police officer and then remembered to ensure your kids got the message – you can’t drink and drive.

Nelson High School students got that lesson when police spent part of a day at the school showing the students just how unable they are to walk a straight line if they had been drinking and getting a look at the equipment the police use to measure the blood alcohol content in their bodies.  It was police time well spent.

The driving under the influence of alcohol legislation has been around for 90 years – since 1921, but we still have far too many traffic deaths, that were the result of a driver being drunk.  There was a time when friends at a party would say to a guest as they were about to leave – “Have one for the road”.  We actually did that.

A total of 84 RIDE check points were set up by Regional Police; 67 driving under the influence charges were laid. Burlington's record was the worst in the Region.

This year the police stopped 17,396 vehicles during the RIDE program.  564 of those people were asked to blow into the device that measures the amount of alcohol in the blood; 87 people were given warnings while 23 failed the test.  Failing the test means you get to call home and ask for help or call your lawyer.  If you are just warned you face anything from a three day driving suspension up to a 30 day driving suspension if you are caught a third time.  Should the police officer that stops you decide to take you into the police station for a test on a much more sophisticated piece of equipment or if you refuse to take the breathing test – you lose your license automatically for 90 days. One would hope that at that point your insurance company made it so expensive to get coverage, that you wouldn’t be able to afford to drive.

Sgt. Dave Cross, media guru for the Halton Regional Police, wasn’t able to say if the number of warnings and charges has dropped over the years, but he does point out that the RIDE program serves a very useful purpose.  You can almost hear him shaking his head, when he talks about the number of people who actually get caught behind the wheel of a vehicle,  knowing they have been drinking.   Couple of things were evident from the data he released though.  While Burlington may be the #2 best Canadian city to live in, it had the worst results in terms of the number of people warned or charged by the police.

There were a total of 84 different RIDE check points set up, 31 each in Burlington and Oakville.

While the prime purpose of the RIDE program is to catch people driving while drinking, it serves as a notice to the community that the police are out there.  It also gives the police a chance to scoop up other people they are looking for.  There were seven criminal charges laid for non-drinking offenses, 3 suspended drivers were caught and 178 people nabbed under the Provincial Offenses Act – most of them were from Oakville.

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