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26 people charged with impaired during Wellington OPP holiday RIDE program

The program started late November and ended on January 2
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Legal weed was a brand new factor to consider for officers during the annual holiday RIDE program.

Wellington OPP Constable Joshua Cunningham says the numbers are not as bad as last year, but they are still concerning.

"In Wellington County, we had 43 drivers receive a three, seven or 30-day administrative suspension for blowing a warning range for alcohol. We had 26 people charged with impaired operational vehicle, and one person charged with refusing to provide a sample of breath."

Cunningham says the number of people that were caught driving with cannabis in their car during this year's RIDE program is concerning.

"Under the new legislation, yes cannabis is legal but only in certain situations and having marijuana accessible to the driver and smoking in the confined space of a vehicle is definitely risky behaviour. People are getting charged for that."

He says the government is working on designing a physical testing sequence for people who drive high, which would assist drug recognition experts that have been in place for years to help identify drug-impaired drivers.

"At this point, Wellington County is examining drivers using a drug recognition expert. That specially trained officer runs for a battery test with the driver and develops grounds and based on their expertise and their opinion, a sample of urine is sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences for analysis to determine drug concentrations in that person."

The holiday RIDE program started late November and ended January 2.


Aastha Shetty

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