Police running RIDEs on the trails in west Ottawa last weekend

GOULBOURN – Ottawa police were out on their sleds last weekend, conducting RIDE programs in rural Ottawa west.

“Ottawa Police Service (OPS) Marine Dive Trail (MDT) officers charged a snowmobile operator with impaired driving during a RIDE program Saturday evening (Feb. 22),” the OPS released in a statement yesterday (Feb. 24).

Between 9 p.m. Feb. 22 and 1 a.m. Feb. 23, officers set up at two trailhead locations. One at Dwyer Hill and Fernbank roads just outside of Corkery and Roger Stevens Drive and Fourth Line Road in North Gower.

“Between the two checkpoints, 95 vehicles were stopped, resulting in seven roadside demands and one Standard Field Sobriety Test,” the OPS said. “Two snowmobile operators attempted to evade the checkpoint, however, they were stopped and one operator was charged with impaired driving.”

“Snowmobiling is a fun winter activity, but sadly, a lot of fatalities on snowmobiles involve impairment by alcohol or drugs and they are entirely preventable,” Staff Sgt. Marc-Andre Sheehy, head of the OPS MDT, said. “Everyone has the right to safely enjoy the trails, which is why we’re out here.”

Impaired snowmobile operation carries the same penalty as driving a car or boat impaired.

“Don’t risk your licence, your safety and that of others,” Sheehy said.

RIDEs on trailheads will continue throughout the snowmobiling season.