Thunder Bay police to publish names of accused impaired drivers starting Dec. 2

·2 min read

THUNDER BAY — Thunder Bay police will begin publishing the names of all drivers charged with impaired driving offences in order to deter individuals from getting behind the wheel impaired as the annual Festive RIDE program officially launched on Wednesday.

The number of individuals charged with impaired driving offences have been ‘staggering’ so far this year, according to Thunder Bay Police Const. Mark Cattani with the traffic unit.

“We are at a point now where we are essentially running out of options,” Cattani said during a virtual news conference.

At the end of last year’s festive RIDE season, police reported a record of 204 individuals charged with impaired driving for the total year.

“This was by far the greatest number we had ever seen,” Cattani said. “I am discouraged and unfortunately have to report that we are at 251 impaired drivers at this point without even having started the RIDE program.”

Starting Wednesday, Dec. 2, police will begin publishing the names of people who are charged with impaired driving offences in hopes of deterring individuals from driving impaired, a practice that has been in place in several other police forces in Ontario.

“There is a very clear need for enforcement,” Cattani said. “We are already beyond so far where we have already been any other year.”

The OPP have named alleged drunk divers for years in news releases.

During Wednesday’s news conference, police reported in the last 24 hours four individuals had been charged with impaired driving. Two who were drug-impaired and two under the influence of alcohol.

“We feel this is probably one of the most effective ways as a supplement to the RIDE program itself to get impaired drivers off the road potentially,” Cattani said.

The festive RIDE program runs from Dec. 2 to Jan. 1, 2021.

Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source