The Ontario government is spending $2.4 million in an effort to take more drunk drivers off the road this holiday season.
This year, 172 police services across the province will receive a portion of this funding to keep the roads and highways safe over the holidays.
“Sadly, impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a news release.
“The funding our local police services receive will help them conduct regular roadside spot-checks and education campaigns needed to detect impaired drivers and keep our roads safe throughout the year,” she continued.
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Over the last 10 years, more than 1,700 people have been killed, and more than 25,000 people have been injured due to collisions involving a drunk diver.
Further, due to the government’s decision to legalize cannabis use last year, roadside spot-checks have become even more important to public safety.
“Impaired drivers, whether by drugs or alcohol, can be found on the road every single day–not just around the holidays,” Jones said.
“It’s simple—don’t get behind the wheel if you’re impaired—make alternative arrangements to get home. This single decision can save your life and the lives of others,” she added.
The government is urging anyone who intends to drink over the holidays to ensure they have a safe means of transportation home beforehand, which could include a designated driver, public transit, and/or ride-sharing programs—or, in the event it’s a party at a family member or friend’s house, spending the night.
Additionally, anyone who believes someone may be a risk to drive under the influence is asked to call 911.