Impaired driving…this week’s news

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.

General News

  • Now THIS is what I am talking about. South Carolina, US: a female impaired driver who hit and killed a 23-year-old man got 25 YEARS IN PRISON! The driver had been a repeat offender: DUI in 1992, 1995 and 1996 and with driving under a suspended license in 1995, 1996, 2001 and 2003. 25 years in jail sends the message to impaired drivers that if you kill someone, it’s MURDER! Wish we could see this in Canada!
  • More results from Operation Impact! Kennebecasis, NB: RCMP from District 3 in NB (which covers areas including Sussex, Hampton and Grand Bay-Westfield) did 251 check stops from April to mid-October. As a result of those check stops, 42 people have been charged with impaired driving and 20 drivers have been given week-long suspensions meaning their blood-alcohol level was approaching the legal limit of .08, but not over it.
  • New data shows Canadian drivers are much less likely to be under the influence of alcohol when involved in a fatal vehicle accident in the United States.

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

Impaired Driving Causing Death

  • 1 acquitted
    • Saint-Wilfred, NB: Family is outraged after a 24-year-old man is acquitted in an impaired case. The man had been driving a personal watercraft when it collided with a boat and a 36-year-old passenger died in the collision. The judge stated that he suspected the man was impaired given his flight from the scene after the collision but suspicion was not enough to support a finding of guilt.

Impaired Driving Causing Bodily harm

  • 1 at trial
    • Whitehorse, Yukon: trial for a 30-year-old man charged with 6 counts of dangerous and impaired driving causing bodily harm began this week. The driver rolled his vehicle and 2 of his friends were injured, 1 being a 23-year-old woman who sustained severe spinal injuries and lost the use of both her legs.
  • 1 pleaded guilty
    • Saskatoon, SK: 28-year-old man pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm after he lost control of his car and his four friends were injured.

Impaired Driving

  • 6 charged
    • Ottawa, ON: 26-year-old man charged with criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving, and failure to provide a breath sample when 27-year-old pedestrian woman was killed by the driver who was driving the wrong-way. She was about to embark on a career working in social justice, something she had dreamed of for years, after graduating from law school in May. He was released from custody pending his trial and is able to drive. Here’s hoping the guy’s charges get upgraded to impaired driving causing death!
    • South Delta, BC: A witness reported an impaired driver and then followed the vehicle providing updates. A traffic stop was initiated and after the driver failed a roadside screening test, the subject was issued a 90-day driving suspension and the vehicle was towed. Yeahhh to the witness!!
    • Sault Ste Marie, ON: 60-year-woman and 52 year-old man were both charged with impaired driving at Canada Customs on the same night but in two separate instances.
    • Machar Township, ON: 21-year-old man charged with impaired driving after he lost control of his car on a curve and ended up in the ditch, striking a rock.
    • Toronto, ON: 38-year-old man was charged with impaired driving after the tractor-trailer he was driving jackknifed across a highway and caused a 3-vehicle crash where 4 people suffered minor injuries.

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. If only we had the US system for these people in canada!!!

  2. There is no tolerance for drunk driving in Europe. When I lived in Norway I wondered if people would sneak behind the wheel and hope they didn’t get caught, but there was none of that. Even young kids pick a designated driver and that person cannot even have a sip. If caught, I believe the DUI driver spends a year in jail without a telephone call to alert family that they are behind bars. Of course it’s a small country and their jails aren’t overcrowded like in the U.S. But it’s a good system and it works. Wish we could implement something that would get people’s attention.

    • I only wish we had a more intolerant system like that. Maybe people would be less apt to take any risk and innocent lives would be saved! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  3. 25 years sounds about right. Especially since the driver had a long history of infractions, but I don’t understand how that judge could let the jetskier off. He fled the scene, isn’t that illegal?

    Thanks again for your weekly updates. Such an important reminder to all of us. I really do think of this post whenever I’m out and have a drink. The statistics are so appalling and I refuse to be one of them.

    Don’t drink and drive. Ever.

    • I know! A) I agree 25 years sounded right and yes B) I can’t believe that fleeing the scene wasn’t considered guilty! I guess the other family in court was outraged – I can’t begin to imagine! Sooo sad!
      Thank you sooo much Tameri…it means so much to me to know that my posts are important to others and to feel like I have such a family of support backing me up and spreading the word! Truly touches my heart!
      Muah!! Xoxoxox

  4. Sara Grambusch says:

    It’s great that you post these updates, people need to know.
    When I was in high school the star of the football team drove drunk with some friends. Everyone else in the car died and he was paralyzed with brain damage. I didn’t really know them but it was horrible.
    You’re right that it is 100% preventable. I would be completely on board for a breathalyzer to be in every car. It’s a two second “inconvenience”.

    • Thanks so much Sara! And tks for stopping by and commenting!
      What an incredibly sad and tragic story. So senseless, eh!? When will people learn that it is simply not worth the risk!
      I am with you 100 percent on the breathlizer!!! I whole heartedly support implementing random breath sampling as well. In the country’s that have done so, they’ve seen a drop in impaired driving by 20 per cent – that’s huge! In Canada they claim it’s a violation of the Charter of Rights but to me, I feel like driving is a privilege and you should be able to prove you ability to drive at anytime. But I doubt we’ll ever see it here…sad…
      Thanks again for taking the time to visit and share your story. Means a lot to me!!

  5. Natalie, you are raising a public awareness. I’m so glad you write these updates since so many people drink and drive. We have a strict system in US but if a tragedy happens, no time in jail will ever repay for lost human lives. What’s more important is to convince drivers to be more responsible and never drive while under influence. You are doing a wonderful job. I only hope there were more people like you.

    • Angela, thank you doesn’t come close to expressing how much I appreciate your comment and your never-ending support. God bless you!
      I agree, prevention is key. One life, limb, or injury is one too many!
      HUGS!!!

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