As police services across Ontario get ready to crack down on impaired driving during New Year’s celebrations, York Regional Police took a bit of a tongue-in-cheek approach while conveying the potentially severe consequences of driving drunk or high.
In a tweet Friday morning as a part of the service’s #ReservationsNotRequired campaign, police posted an “AirYRP” ad listing an “isolated industrial suite in central Newmarket.”
“Vintage industrial space just perfect for any drunk or high driver this NYE! Neutral tones of grey, and minimalist industrial design throughout,” the post read, referencing police jail cells.
“Almost two square metres of poorly lit space to meet like-minded guests, cry, urinate in your pants, vomit, contemplate the reaction of your wife/husband/children, dream up an excuse for your court appearance, mourn the loss of your vehicle and dignity etc.”
The ad said the space, with an all-in cost pegged at just under $13,000, consists of a concrete bed that can “sleep” a person and efficient features.
“(The) toilet paper roll doubles as (a) comfy pillow, sink doubles as (a) shower and (the) toilet doubles as (an) ottoman,” it said, noting the “impressive security system.”
York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle said the post comes as officers are trying to think of creative ways to reiterate a long-standing message about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“We’re putting out releases every single week about the arrests that are made and we’ve got typically between 20 and 30 people arrested every single week for this type of offence,” Nicolle said.
“To be honest, I can’t think of any other major crime where we’re seeing those kind of numbers – and it is a major crime, that’s what people need to realize.”
Nicolle referenced multiple significant fatalities that have occurred on York Region roads, including the deaths of nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, five-year-old brother Harrison, two-year-old sister Milly and their 65-year-old grandfather Gary Neville. They were killed after an SUV driven by Marco Muzzo slammed into the family’s van in Vaughan. Muzzo received a 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
For New Year’s Eve, extra RIDE check lanes are being setup and additional officers will be out on general patrol.
Nicolle encouraged anyone who sees a suspected impaired driver to call 911 immediately. She asked friends and family to prevent people who have consumed alcohol or drugs from getting behind the wheel.
“We have to work closely with our community to call and report this, and to also take the steps to stop somebody from driving.”
“As soon as you have a drink or two, your judgment is already impaired at that point. So your ability to tell if you’re fine or not has been removed from the equation.”
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