South Simcoe Police have released a series of troubling new statistics from their festive R.I.D.E. campaign.

“In just one week, we have arrested eight impaired drivers, issued another six warn range suspensions, and charged five people with having drugs in the vehicle”, says Staff Sergeant Steve Wilson.

He calls the results disappointing and disturbing.

In total, officers stopped and checked almost 1,000 vehicles since Monday, and conducted 55 roadside sobriety tests.

Earlier this week, Ontario Provincial Police and Barrie Police were also out across the region, cracking down on impaired drivers and handing out opioid information cards.

“We really want to get that message out to motorists, that you can be impaired by drug not just by alcohol”, says Barrie Police Constable Sarah Bamford.

It’s a message police say is not sinking in with drivers.

“There are so many options available. Designated driving services, taxis, and still people are choosing to make the wrong choice and drink and drive,” says Staff Sgt. Wilson.

One of the services available to any drivers that have consumed alcohol is Operation Red Nose, based out of Borden.

The program’s volunteers make sure drivers and their vehicles make it home safely, and for free.

Operation Red Nose runs every Friday and Saturday until the New Year, from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.

They provide services to Barrie, Angus, Alliston, Innisfil, Wasaga Beach, and Collingwood.