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Holiday R.I.D.E. campaign launched

TORONTO, Ont. – The holiday R.I.D.E. campaign kicked off Thursday morning, with the message that it is more important than ever to watch what you drink and to be careful who drives your car.

Starting December 1, drivers caught with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or those who fail a breathalyzer will have their vehicles impounded roadside and will not get them back for a full week.

As a result, if drivers lend their car to somebody who is caught driving impaired, they will lose the car for seven days, and the owner of the vehicle will have to pay the cost of towing and impounding.

Police are also reminding motorists that this season is a little different for younger drivers.

“A couple of things that the people really need to be aware of this year, that’s been different from the last R.I.D.E. season that they would have seen, is that now, under the new legislation, if you’re 21 years of age or younger, you are required to have a zero B.A.C. anytime you’re driving a vehicle,” said Toronto Police Sergeant Tim Burrows.

“If you’re above that, if you have any presence of alcohol whatsoever, you will be charged, you will be suspended from your driving privileges, and your vehicle may be impounded.”

Burrows said that there is no excuse to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking.

“Phone a friend, phone a family member, public transit, taxis, buses, the TTC – they’re all really great options that are affordable, cheap and easy, and well planned out ahead.”

And for special occasions, Burrows even recommends renting a limo, or staying overnight in a hotel.

“We want to make sure that everybody has a safe (holiday). That includes the people that want to go out and have something to drink that they do it responsibly, and protect those people that want to go out and assume, and expect, and deserve to have safer roads.”

In 2009, Toronto Police conducted a total of 314 spot checks over 36 days. A total of 99 drinking and driving charges were laid.

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