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More than 1,400 impaired driving charges laid in the GTA in 2018: OPP

Last Updated Dec 31, 2018 at 3:16 pm EDT

As the city prepares to ring in the new year, the Ontario Provincial Police is reminding drivers to make a plan ahead of time to avoid making the mistake of driving while impaired.

Numbers released on Monday show that the OPP laid 1,433 impaired driving charges in 2018 against drivers on GTA roads.

It’s a number OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt calls “completely unacceptable.”

“Already this year over 1,400 charges laid in connection with alcohol, drugs impairment, sometimes over the legal limit, others driving straight impaired,” he said in a video he posted to Twitter.

“That is completely unacceptable. People are dying because of this.”

Schmidt said some of the impaired charges are for drivers blowing two or three times over the legal limit.

“That’s a lot of alcohol and if you’re going to be out driving and you’ve had alcohol in your system, you need to put those keys away. You need to give them to somebody else,” he explained.

Last year the GTA saw the number of fatalities related to impaired driving drop from the previous year. Schmidt said the numbers for 2018 will be released in the coming days.

“We certainly don’t want to see that number climb any more than what it already has been — especially on the night like tonight (New Year’s Eve),” he said.

Schmidt is reminding drivers heading out Monday night to make a plan for how to get home before they head out the door to avoid making bad decisions.

The TTC and Go Transit will all be free as of 7 p.m. and the same goes for the Up Express and most other regional transit services across the GTA. With many bars across the city pushing last call to 3 a.m., the subways will be following suit. The last trains will be running through to around 4 a.m.

The busiest periods for Uber are between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., a spokesperson says, and again between midnight and 3 a.m. Surge pricing will be in effect and is dynamic based on the demand.