Nov 29

Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere or RIDE is a sobriety testing program used by police. The program began in 1977 as Reduce Impaired Driving in Etobicoke and the success of the program led to the expansion across the province of Ontario.

The roadside spot-checks usually appear during the holidays to catch drunk drivers, but the program lasts year-round. RIDE spot-checks are set up on major roadways and off-ramps of highways. All drivers are stopped and interrogated upon reaching the checkpoint. If a driver is suspected to be intoxicated, the officer may request a roadside breathalyzer test.

Are RIDE Programs Lawful?

In 1985, the program was challenged as a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the random roadside checks do not violate the Charter. Police are not allowed to complete other criminal investigations or searches, unconnected with the purpose of RIDE.

Can I be Charged from a RIDE Program?

Yes. A RIDE program is used to investigate impaired drivers and ‘over 80’ offences. Like any vehicle stop, the police will be looking for any indicia of impairment and the police can also request that you provide a sample of your breath. The indicia of impairment when combine with a failed reading on the approved screening devices would provide the police with reasonable and probable grounds to arrest you.

Although you could be charged with impaired driving and/or ‘over 80’ offences, typically drivers charged during a RIDE program will only be charged with over 80. When you are charged with impaired driving, typically the police officer has observed your driving and other necessary observations to provide reasonable and probable grounds that you are impaired. Since RIDE programs rely on ASDs, there is less time to make observations of impairment, so the police will usually only lay a single count of ‘over 80’.

How do I beat my DUI?

If you are charged during a RIDE program, you can still beat your DUI. From the time you are stopped until you are released from the police station, the police must follow the requirements of the Criminal Code and must respect your Charter rights. If the police make an error and a Charter breach is established, you can apply to exclude the evidence in your case which will typically led to an acquittal. There are other, more technical defences to an ‘over 80’ charge.

Toronto DUI Lawyers

Being charged with an impaired driving or excess blood alcohol offence is often a concerning and frustrating experience. Arrest for these offences results in vehicle impoundment, license suspension, and having to attend court as well as a police station to submit a fingerprint sample. These are serious events to go through, but you do not need to handle them alone. Let us help you.

Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh has a roster of experienced Toronto DUI lawyers. Call us at 416-613-0416 to schedule a consultation.