New blog page for my family’s impaired driving story

Two years ago, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver. In honor of Donna Jean Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

New on the Blog

It’s been a long time coming but I finally created a new blog page (Impaired Driving – Our Story) for my family’s personal impaired driving story with all the pertinent links and information. It was gut wrenching to put together…I cried a lot…

Although having an impaired driving category and writing about it every Friday is great, I wanted to give our story a bit more blog prominence. And for newbies to my blog, it gives them a quick and easy way to get the down and dirty info on why I am so impassioned about impaired driving. Be sure to stop by and check it out and let me know what you think? It’s at the top of my blog, beside Contact Me.

MADD Canada News

  • MADD Canada School Assembly Program targets youth by exposing them to the human and legal impact of impaired driving through the Damages (short clip about the program). The film begins in a courtroom where we meet Jesse, who had a promising future. Jesse has been charged with four serious crimes. He is an impaired driver who caused a horrific car crash. I cried when I watched it! Here is a news story about a high school that was presented with the Damages program.
  • Check out MADD Canada’s YouTube channel for more movie clips.
  • Moncton, NB: MADD holds a memorial service. Families of loved ones killed by drunk drivers call for an end to the madness at the second annual MADD memorial service held at the Fair Haven Memorial Gardens. A memorial bearing the names of a dozen killed in drunk-driving crashes was erected a year ago in memory of those deceased and to help raise public awareness and outrage.
  • Oakville, ON: Pizza fundraiser for MADD Canada. Gino’s Pizza teamed up with MADD Canada to support the fight against impaired driving. On September 22, 2011, every in-store customer got one free slice of pizza for every minimum $1 donation made to MADD Canada between 11 am – 4 pm. Very cool!
  • British Columbia: One year later police say that tougher impaired driving laws are having an effect. As of September 20, 2010 in BC, blowing above the legal limit (.08) meant an immediate 90-day driving ban and a $500 fine. Blowing a “warning” (.05 to .08) meant an immediate three-day driving suspension and a $200 fine. The restaurant industry is upset however saying that the tougher laws are causing a decline in business. Cocktail hours no longer exist and people who use to go after work and blow off steam are gone. (Seriously people??? Lives saved but business has gone down so they want the laws reviewed. I am sorry but these people need to get their priorities straight…or risk losing THEIR loved one to an impaired driver!)
  • President of MADD Canada has blog called Heart to Heart with Denise.

Here’s this week’s line up of impaired driving news.

Impaired Driving Causing Death

  • 1 charged
    1. Hamilton, ON: 61-year-old man charged with impaired driving causing death. After hitting and killing a woman, he stole her purse and 13 hours later made a $113 charge at Bell Mobility on her credit card. (How sick is that?!?!)
  • 2 pled guilty
    1. Edmonton, AB: 29-year-old man pled guilty to impaired driving causing death (3 times over the legal limit) after a February 2010 crash that killed a 43-year-old woman just steps from her home. He will be sentenced September 22, 2011.
    2. Tappen, BC: 29-year-old pled guilty to a series of criminal charges including impaired driving causing the death of his 18-month old daughter in a collision on the on October 23, 2009.

Impaired Driving

  • 1 sentenced
    1. Sarnia, ON: 54-year-old man who pled guilty to impaired driving, failing to provide a breath sample and resisting a police officer was fined $2700 and issued a one-year driving ban with a year’s probation where he must stay away from alcohol
  • 2 charged
    1. Brantford, ON: 16-year-old charged with impaired driving charges after he was found driving at a high rate of speed, failed to stop for a stop sign and narrowly missed a police cruiser before going off the road into a ditch. If convicted, he faces a fine of between $60 to $500 and the suspension or cancellation of his driver’s license.
    2. Bracebridge, ON: 38-year old woman charged with impaired driving (among many charges) after driving to and entering a stranger’s home only to then pass out, partially clothed, in the grass.
  • 1 charge pending
    1. To Keswick, ON: 21-year-old faces impaired driving charges after a crash. Three male passengers in the vehicle were hurt as a result of the crash and a passenger in the rear seat was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. All of the men were in their early 20s.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), and on the Web.

How has impaired driving affected your life? Please…share…I want to know!

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Comments

  1. Brava for writing about something so near to you.

  2. I rarely read stories on drunk driving, because I find them too heartbreaking to read. I can’t stomach the fact that a 20-dollar cab ride could’ve saved lives. That being said I did read yours. I was glad I did read it. We have all seen the car crash on the side of the road, but most people don’t know about the court part of the story. I never realized how hard it would be to watch the trail. Your story was so heart breaking. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    I wanted to thank you for sharing such a personal family story. I believe the more of us that share these stories and give the victims faces the more likely it will be for someone to make a different choice when given the chance to drink and drive or call a cab.

    • Hi Megan,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my family’s personal story. I know how you feel about not reading impaired driving stories; I used to avoid them as well because they were so disheartening and depressing. How can people be so stupid? It’s appalling.
      Yes, the court side of things is horrific to say the least. The guy in our case NEARLY got away with it and in many cases, the number of loop holes and the restrictions in place by the current criminal code actually tie the hands of police officers. Most people are completely unaware. They assume that if there’s an accident and the police suspect impairment, they can just take a blood sample and tada. But that isn’t the case at all. It’s so disgusting and stomach churning to see the degree and length of restrictions. It just shouldn’t be that easy to get away with murdering someone.
      I agree, the more of us who share our personal stories and put a real face to the families left behind, the more people might stop and think first!

  3. I’m still in Louisville but I couldn’t let this one go by in my e-mail stream without telling you how proud I am that you’re going to start a new blog page about drunk driving in Canada. You’ve taken what’s been dealt to you and you’re going to something good and make people listen. I bet your Mom-in-law adored your rise to any challenge attitude. Sayin “you go girl” sounds so trivial in the light of such tragedy but I’m going to say it anyways. If you can save one husband, one child, one wife, one grandma or grandpa it will be worth it. YOU GO GIRL!!!

    • I cried when I read your comment Kate – thank you so much! Yes, I believe Mamma K would be very proud of me and her entire family and everything we’ve done to bring awareness to impaired driving. Just a few months ago, hubby’s two sisters raised over $800 for MADD Canada – incredible! And hubby’s son story is part of a national awareness direct-mail campaign. I blog but it’s definitely a family team approach with all of us pitching in to do our part in bringing awareness to this senseless crime. I hope our efforts will save lives. Thanks for your VOTE of confidence – woot woot!

  4. Excellent idea Natalie, to give your campaign it’s own page. I wonder if you realize what an important contribution you are making to the issue of Drunk Driving? A lot of us talk about it but don’t go as public as you have. Keep up the good work and know we are behind you 100%. We share your pain.

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