Roadside spot checks for impaired drivers start popping up tonight, right across the District of Cochrane..

Timmins Police Constable Darren McGaghran confirmed that, at today’s city police/OPP kick-off of the Festive RIDE campaign.

“During this time of season, there is going to be an influx in RIDE programs,” he told reporters, “and we will be checking for impairment by drug and alcohol at our check stops.”

McGaghran adds that all officers are trained and have the tools to detect impairment by recreational drugs.

Ontario Provincial Police patrol highways and police small communities that don’t have their own forces.

Constable Michelle Simard says to watch for flashing cruiser lights at roadside RIDE checks and stop for them.

“I know for some people, it might seem like a tedious task for them to stop because they need to get there,” she remarks, “but our job is to keep everybody safe on the highway.”

Simard says it’s not okay to drive, regardless of how little you drink or ingest in the form of recreational drugs.

Constables McGaghran and Simard both say to plan ahead on how you’re going to get home before you go out celebrating.

“There’s nothing wrong with calling a friend for a ride, calling a taxi, having a designated driver, there’s nothing wrong with those things,” says Simard.  “There’s no shame in bringing a pair of pajamas and sleeping over.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.”