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Santa Claus sits out this year’s Festive RIDE launch, protecting elves from COVID-19

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The red ribbons were out for Wednesday’s launch of the festive RIDE anti-impaired driving campaign right across the region.

Police officials joined with MADD for the annual photo op.

MADD chapter president Amy St. Amour says the pandemic doesn’t make it any less important to not drink and drive by either alcohol or recreational drugs.

“I know that we won’t see the parties and as many people on the road, but you know we’re going to be visiting our friends and having a few and even with our own families,” she remarks. “Find a safe way to get home. That’s the only thing that we can ask.”

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For the first time in anyone’s memory, Santa Claus wasn’t part of the observance.  He’s limiting pre-Christmas trips from the North Pole, to avoid exposing his elves to COVID-19.

OPP Const. Michelle Simard says the pandemic changes nothing in terms of enforcing impaired driving charges over the holidays.

“We’re still stopping cars. We’re still going to be out there making sure that people are taking the proper precautions to not drink and drive.”

…Same thing applies to using recreational drugs.

Municipal and provincial police across Cochrane District are stepping up enforcement until after New Year’s, with techniques like pop-up roadside impairment checks, when and where you least expect them.

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