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Drunk drivers need to take a hard look at their choices

Minto Express editorial

It’s remarkable how stubborn and self-destructive humans can be.

Word that the Ontario Provincial Police caught more impaired drivers this holiday season than many previous years came out recently, reiterating what many of us have feared for some time: drunk drivers are not getting the message.

Just under 700 drivers were charged with having a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 during the OPP’s Festive RIDE campaign. That’s 700 too many, as far as we’re concerned. All it takes is one impaired driver to injure or kill someone else or themselves.

Recently, The Minto Express interviewed Lise McNally who is involved with MADD Wellington County. Lise said drunk drivers have no idea how far the consequences of their actions actually reach.

Her daughter, Kate, was killed in a collision in which the other driver admitted to consuming alcohol prior to driving. Lise and her family were devastated by the loss and still struggle, years later, to cope with life without their beloved daughter and sister.

Kate’s co-workers, one of whom was in the vehicle with her the night she died, were also affected. No doubt many of them still think of her often. Kate’s friends, crushed by her sudden death, will always feel a loss within their hearts in the very place she used to be.

Lise told the Express she will never see her daughter get married. She will never hold her grandchildren.

What a crushing blow it must be to the McNally family, and to the families of all who died in such a senseless way, that their stories, their losses and their pleas for responsible drinking and the safety of all Canadians still fall on deaf ears.

How discouraging it must feel to read the statistics of hundreds charged with alcohol-related driving offences after the hours and days and months and years of work to spread the word that impaired driving must end.

Those who insist on driving under the influence need take a good hard look at their spouses, children, parents, friends and everyone they love and put themselves in another’s shoes for a moment. How would they feel if someone they cherished so deeply was taken from them through the actions of one thoughtless, selfish act by another?

MADD Wellington County, the OPP and media, including The Minto Express, will continue to put out the message no matter how long it takes to get it through. We challenge those who consume alcohol to take a cab, stay overnight or designate a sober driver.

We can improve these disappointing statistics and ensure 2013 is a brighter year for safe travels across the province. We can help ensure no family is forced to celebrate this year’s holiday season without a treasured loved one close by.

S.D.

One Response to “Drunk drivers need to take a hard look at their choices”

  1. LMBF_2011 says:

    To many of us have had the loss of a loved one to an impaired/drunk driver March 2011. When it is so senseless and 100% preventable. People caught first time driving drunk/impaired over the limit NEED to be taught that you can’t drink n driver impaired more harshly. Stiffer fines, harsher penalities,hit them where it hurts – have their vehicle towed, whether it is their own or somebody else’s, license suspended longer, RBT (Random Breath Testing) authority given to the police dept’s, and for each subsequent time the driver is caught under the influence, lengther times behind bars. The individual that killed my my loved one was sentenced to 3 yrs in prison in June 2012, after the judge gave him 2 wks to get ‘his affairs’ in order. Now early Feb., this year he is up for day n full parole. So, he ends up taking a life, leaves friends/family to live a ‘daily nightmare’ n he ends up serving 7-8 months. Where is the deterent in that for subsequent people who have no respect for themselves or anybody else on the roads when they make a conscious decision to get behind the wheel of a loaded weapon. There is no deterent, just a slap on the wrist, to go back out and do it all over again. Another i.e., 22 yr old female from Surrey, BC, was killed in May 2011, the driver that killed her, just rec’d 37 months. Her family has started a petition for stiffer penalities, and a maximum minimum (5 years) for cases of of impaired causing death, etc., please check them out on FB at Families for Justice, familiesforjustice@shaw.ca or check out Kassandra Kaulius. Or check out MADD Canada FB page. Just to many innocent lives being lost so senselessly!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

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