Festive RIDE campaign

The Thunder Bay Police Service laid 13 impaired driving charges during its Festive RIDE campaign during the holiday season. The campaign was started in November with other regional police services.

With 13 impaired driving charges laid and 13 warn-range suspensions issued during the 2021 Festive RIDE campaign, Thunder Bay police saw a high-volume of impaired driving incidents despite lower traffic volumes.

Throughout the recent holiday season, 12 RIDE programs were conducted in various locations throughout the city. Among the 13 impaired charges laid, eight were impaired by alcohol and three were impaired by drug. Two people refused to provide a breath sample.

Three drivers were also charged with prohibited operation of a conveyance, meaning they were prohibited from operating a vehicle in Canada

Other criminal code charges laid during the campaign included: possession of a controlled substance; dangerous operation of a conveyance; escape lawful custody; flight from police; and assault police.

Provincial offence charges were also issued for a variety of offences, including: driving while under suspension; operating a motor vehicle without insurance; failing to move over for an emergency vehicle; driving with an open container of liquor; and numerous moving violations.

A total of 252 charges related to impaired driving were laid in 2021, a decrease from the 299 laid in 2020. However, it’s still considered higher than the 178 charges in 2018 and 204 in 2019.

Of the 252 charges laid last year, 109 were incidents related to impaired by drug and 10 were related to refusals to provide breath samples.

Thunder Bay police said in a news release the result of the RIDE program show impaired driving is still a real problem and that despite the awareness, education and messaging on the issue, it is still happening at an alarming rate.

“Because of this fact, the Thunder Bay Police Service would like to again remind sober motorists to exercise extra caution and drive defensively to help reduce the risk of becoming involved in a collision with an impaired driver,” police said.

Officers also experienced a few other incidents, including one where a driver was charged with various offences, including impaired operation of a motor vehicle and operation of a motor vehicle while prohibited. The driver was a prohibited driver for life and had two separate lifetime driving prohibition orders.

A separate incident involved a motorist trying to flee the RIDE checkpoint and dragging an officer whose arm was trapped inside the vehicle.