The Hawkesbury Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has begun its annual “Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign” which will run until January 07, 2017. Police will be setting up checkpoints in the region aimed at catching drunk drivers.

Impaired driving continues to be the leading cause of criminal death in Canada, police say. The OPP says drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration over 80 milligrams or who fail/refuse to comply with a demand to provide a breath sample will see their driver’s licence immediately suspended and their vehicles impounded for seven days regardless if they own the vehicle.

In addition, drivers under 22 years, regardless of the class of licence they have, must have a zero alcohol level or their licence will be suspended.

Furthermore, drivers caught with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 to 0.08 (known as the “warn range”), will have their licence immediately suspended for three days for a first offence.

Police say that they will also be looking for people driving under the influence of drugs, and that officers are trained to recognize drivers who have been using drugs.

Police recommend using a cab, designated driver, or spending the night at a friend’s to avoid drinking and driving. If you suspect someone is driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you are encouraged to call 911.