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Drunk driving charges up 37% in GTA over Victoria Day long weekend: OPP

Last Updated May 19, 2015 at 1:39 pm EDT

The OPP investigate a fatal collision on Highway 403 on May 16, 2015. CITYNEWS/Stephen Dagg
Summary

Ryan Powless, 29, was killed in a crash involving an alleged drunk driver in Burlington on Saturday.


The OPP also received complaints of aggressive drivers, as well as a road rage incident on the QEW in Grimsby.


Impaired driving charges jumped significantly over the Victoria Day long weekend compared to last year.

Ontario provincial police laid 37 drunk driving charges in the GTA — an increase of 37 per cent from Victoria Day in 2014. Last year at that time, police laid 27 alcohol-related charges.

Police said some of the drivers were travelling the wrong way on the highways, leading to one fatality.

Ryan Powless, 29, was killed in a crash involving an alleged drunk driver on Highway 403 near Waterdown Road in Burlington on Saturday morning.

“We see people mixing alcohol with drugs as well, which makes it even more dangerous because the consequences and the effects on your body, and people are making very poor decisions,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said.

In Toronto, police made 19 impaired driving arrests, with one being a drug impairment. Police also issued six “warn-range” suspensions — given to drivers who have a blood-alcohol concentration between 50-80 milligrams. Police gave out 13 administrative driver’s licence 90-day suspensions — given to drivers who have a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 80 milligrams.

There was even a case of a woman crashing with her children in the car on Highway 401 in Scarborough over the weekend. Police later determined she had been drinking.

The OPP also received complaints of aggressive drivers, as well as a road rage incident on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Grimsby in which a driver’s window was smashed by a motorcyclist.

David Joseph Beaulieu, 38, from Hamilton, is facing charges of mischief over $5,000 and possession of weapon for dangerous purpose in that incident.

Another driver, a 23-year-old man, was arrested at the scene after provincial police found him driving his Honda the wrong way on Highway 410 in Brampton around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Police said luckily other drivers were able to avoid the wrong-way vehicle before an officer managed to stop the driver. No injuries were reported.

Dalton Hudson, from Brampton, faces charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, impaired operation of a motor vehicle, and operating a motor vehicle with over 80 milligrams of alcohol. He is scheduled in court on June 19.

Also in Brampton, a 33-year-old man was arrested after an ice cream truck crashed into a house in the Bovaird Drive West and Chinguacousy Road area on Sunday. He received minor injuries.

Mugunthan Ratnasiningam, of Missisauga, faces charges of operating a vehicle while impaired and refusing a breath sample. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 27.

Durham Regional police also released numbers from its week-long road safety campaigns between May 12 – 18.

Thirteen people were charged with impaired driving and police issued more than 450 tickets, mostly for speeding, during the seven-day stretch.

Six people were also charged with stunt driving, and 18 were ticketed for distracted driving, Durham police said in a release.

With files from Jaime Pulfer