OPP report a 64 per cent increase in impaired driving cases across Essex County


A sharp increase in the number of impaired driving cases across Essex County.

Ontario Provincial Police report a 64 per cent increase in both alcohol and drug impaired driving cases in 2023.

A total of 176 impaired driving cases have been recorded so far this year compared to 107 during the same time period in 2022.

Staff Sgt. Jamie Smith says their RIDE programs are also up 65 per cent. 

"The push from our commissioner is for us to be out there everyday doing RIDE programs in our communities," he says.

Smith says it's alarming the numbers are up this much.

"I don't know if it's that people are calling in more, with the technology that we have out there, with cellphones and what not. That could be the reason why we're seeing an increase because more people are calling them in, which is good because we're catching them. But I wonder about the ones we're not catching out there," he says.

Smith adds that the increase in RIDE programs is also playing a factor when it comes to an increase in more charges.

OPP remind all drivers to not drink and drive, but if you are planning to drink, plan ahead to get home safely.