MISSISSAUGA, Canada-- Police say enough is enough after two people were charged with drunk driving Sunday night despite a number of RIDE spot checks in the area.
Emergency crews were called to Highway 401 and Renforth Drive for a car accident.
When police arrived at the scene they found one of the drivers had allegedly left the scene.
Authorities eventually caught up with a suspect and charged him with impaired driving.
However, while firefighters were attending the accident scene, another car crashed into their firetruck.
That driver was charged with impaired driving as well. He was sent to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
"We've got two separate collisions here in the span of a half an hour involving alcohol," alleged Ontario Provincial Police Const. Dave Woodford.
"There's far too many people dying on the highways," he told CTV Toronto. "Enough is enough."
A recent poll by the Ottawa-based Traffic Injury Research Foundation, found that despite police spot checks on local roads, drunk driving continues to be a problem in Canada.
More than 1,000 Canadians were polled in the study. It concluded that the number of motorists who get behind the wheel after a few drinks has jumped almost three per cent in the last three years.
OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino responded to the study with an open letter to the community.
"With all the knowledge, awareness, education and exposure dedicated to the prevention of this particular crime, Canadians have either tuned out the message or tuned themselves out of the problem in the misguided belief that the consequences of drunk driving will happen only to someone else," the letter said.
Fantino said police efforts to curb drunk driving are often diminished by the sentences imposed by the Canadian justice system and other loopholes.
"With regard to more meaningful consequences, I strongly advocate the impounding of vehicles and the move toward administrative processes that will allow police officers the authority to employ a graduated scale of impoundment, such as three months for a first offence, six months for a second offence, and so on," the letter continued.
"Drunk driving is the leading cause of criminal death in Canada - not guns or other weapons but rather, the use of motor vehicle to kill people," it said.
Police will be out in full force on New Year's Eve, doing spot checks as part of the RIDE program.
"We're going to be city-wide, we're not just going to be on busy roadways, we're going to be on obscure roadways to catch the people who want to take the back roads home," said Const. Mig Roberts, with Toronto Police Traffic Services, told CTV Toronto.
There will be no excuse for drunk driving, police say, especially since the TTC has offered free rides for the first time in 30 years. A ride on a TTC bus or subway will be free from midnight until 4 a.m.
GO Trains are also free from 7 p.m. until service ends for the night. Transit in Vaughan, Mississauga and Brampton are also free New Year's Eve.
Woodford said if the public sees anybody driving erratically on the roads, they should call 911 immediately to let them know.
"We can't be everywhere all the time and a lot of drivers try to avoid the police when they've been drinking and driving," he said. "If we get the help from the citizens, then we can respond and hopefully get those people off the road."
Republished with permission of CTV.ca.