When it comes to drinking and driving, it seems people are willing to take a risk.

The latest numbers from the Ontario Provincial Police holiday RIDE campaign show more motorists were charged with impaired driving this year than any other year since the spot checks began back in 2005.

This year’s campaign ran five weeks – from Nov. 24 to Jan. 2 throughout Ontario.

During that time 693 people were charged with impaired driving and an additional 625 people were given warn range suspensions for driving with a blood alcohol concentration between 50 and 80 milligrams.

In comparison, last year, 682 motorists were charged with impaired driving and 583 drivers were given warn-range suspensions.

OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis said there is no excuse to explain the increase in the statistics.

“We had hoped to see these numbers decrease significantly during this year’s campaign, in light of how much harder we have worked to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving,” Lewis said in a news release Wednesday.

“Impaired driving continues to be the leading cause of criminal death in Canada and it is disappointing that we still have Ontario drivers who feel entitled to place other road users at risk of losing their lives to an impaired driver,” Lewis added.

Police say the statistics mean they will step up their efforts in 2013.

“We will be as committed as ever in 2013 to incorporating the high visibility, professional traffic stops, public education and measurable outcomes supported by our Provincial Traffic Safety Program, in our ongoing effort to reduce impaired driving on Ontario roads,” said Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Divison.

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