Their total stops and tests were down 40 per cent this year over last, but South Simcoe Police say the number of criminal charges during their Festive RIDE campaign were about the same: 11 Impaired Driving offences and one Drive While Disqualified. A total of 198 drivers were tested at the roadside; 19 of them had a blood alcohol in the WARN range, between 50 and 80 mgs of alcohol. “We were really hoping drivers were getting the Drive Sober message,” says Acting Sergeant Steve Black. “There are so many alternatives to driving under the influence. Take a cab, use transit, call a friend, stay over. There are designated driving services that didn’t exist a few years ago. There’s really no excuse for getting behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking.” “Impaired driving by drugs is also on the rise,” said Constable Paul Catling, one of South Simcoe Police’s Drug Recognition Evaluators. “While we didn’t have any arrests for impaired by drug at our spot-checks this year, we do see more of it. Eleven people were charged with drug possession during Festive RIDE, so it is out there, and we are encountering it.” On the upside, police were encouraged by the number of designated drivers they encountered, a trend officers hope continues.