impaired drivers toronto

Police are now sharing the names of impaired drivers in Toronto online

If the threat of heavy fines, losing your license, going to jail, dying in a fiery wreck or killing innocent people (maybe even your own loved ones) doesn't scare you, maybe knowing that everyone who Googles your name can see that you've had a DUI will.

That's the idea, at least, behind a new York Regional Police campaign aimed at stopping people from driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Police have laid more than 1,400 impaired-related driving charges in York Region alone since the beginning of 2018 and say this "distressing trend" shows no signs of slowing down.

Today, after a weekend that saw 16 drivers rack up a total of 27 impaired driving charges, the police department just North of Toronto announced that it would effectively be naming and shaming drunk drivers moving forward.

"It's clear that something has to change," said YRP Chief Eric Jolliffe in a media release on Monday. "Effective immediately, York Regional Police will name all of the drivers charged with impaired-related criminal driving offences."

Police hope that posting the names online will make impaired driving even more "socially unacceptable" than it already is, as well as allow community members to keep a watch out for local offenders who may be choosing to drive while suspended.

Offenders caught this weekend include a 32-year-old Toronto man who police say had a half-full bottle of vodka in his centre console when they pulled up. When brought in and given a breath test, he blew four times the legal limit.

"Innocent lives are put at risk every day by this irresponsible and criminal behavior," said Jolliffe of the bold initiative. "We are not giving up."

Ontario Provincial Police are also extra vigilant right now when it comes to impaired driving as part of their holiday RIDE campaign, which runs until January 2.

When asked if this could impede upon the rights of those charged, a representative for the department said that naming impaired drivers does not violate anyone's right to privacy.

"We have the authority to name people that are charged with a criminal offence, especially when public safety is at risk," wrote the police service on Twitter.

"People charged with impaired driving that may be driving while under suspension are a risk to public safety."

A new list of names will be released online every Monday morning, according to York Regional Police. You can see the very first 16 on YRP.ca right now.

Lead photo by

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt


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