Police services send both greetings and reminder ‘don’t drink & drive

December 7, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The Orangeville and Shelburne police services send out holiday greetings to Dufferin County residents with a reminder: Do not drink and drive.

Orangeville Police Chief Wayne Kalinski says, “It is a busy time, especially with office parties and holiday celebrations. The Orangeville Police would like to remind everyone that our officers and our enhanced RIDE programs are in full effect.”

“If you see someone on our roads who you suspect is impaired, call 911 immediately,” he added. “The Orangeville Police Service takes road safety seriously.”

“The Shelburne Police Service conducts RIDE Programs throughout the year,” said Chief Kent Moore, “however we increase these spot checks during the holiday season.”

Chief Moore says all police services in Dufferin County, including Dufferin OPP, “work together to combat impaired driving.”

According to an article in the National Post, Canada has the highest percentage of fatalities linked to alcohol impairment, with 10,000 deaths between 2008 and 2012. The number of deaths by drunk drivers in this country is higher than deaths by homicide, and all efforts and expenditures seem to be failing to elicit change.

In a letter to local newspaper editors last week, retired lawyer David Thwaites wrote, “We have the same problem here at home as our fellow Canadians.” Mr. Thwaites said statistical information from the Shelburne Police Service, the Orangeville Police Service and the Dufferin OPP “tell us that there has been no appreciable decline in impaired driving offences between 2012 to current.”

Mr. Thwaites said Shelburne had seven cases of drunk driving in 2012 but has had 13 already in 2016, in addition to 29 in Orangeville.

“There are significant resources being expended to combat impaired driving through programs such as RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere), together with the cost of investigation and prosecution.” he said.

“I understand that the cost for the Shelburne Police Service in addressing impaired driving offences approximates almost $60,000 per year … yet there are taxpayers who make the choice to drive up the cost by their selfish choice to drink and drive.”

Reports suggest the cost to Canada as a whole may be as high as $20 Billion per year.

The real cost of drinking and driving, the loss of life and destruction of families, is as “priceless,” Mr. Thwaites added. “The issue is not, ‘How much can I drink and still drive? Has two hours gone by? Is there a RIDE program?’  The answer is don’t drink if you are going to drive.”

“The holiday season is the time of year that family and friends get together to celebrate and most times these celebrations involve alcohol,” says Chief Moore. “We continuously remind people to plan ahead and make arrangements for a safe ride home.  We also encourage citizens to call the police if they observe any driver they feel may be impaired.”

“The Orangeville Police Service would like to wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday season,” says Chief Kalinski. “We ask everyone to be responsible and not to drink alcohol and drive.”

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