A man badly injured by a drunk driver more than five years ago is urging Winnipeggers to arrange for safe trips over the holiday season.
Adrian Halpert was the designated driver on Oct. 12, 2008. He was driving friends home from the bar on Bishop Grandin Boulevard when a car crossed the median and struck him.
“There was one big crash, and then I saw the car go in front of me, so he must have spun us around and then everything went dark,” he said.
The driver that hit him was drunk.
Halpert suffered a broken femur, a fractured hip, a fractured pelvis and a broken rib.
Now, he has two metal rods in his leg and three deep scars from staples needed after surgery.
Years later, Halpert is still dealing with the effects of the crash.
“It’s almost like a constant throbbing even just sitting here,” he said on Monday. “It’s crazy to think that for him, it’s only two years [of jail], but for me, I’m still living with it, and it’s already five years later.”
Halpert said he feels lucky to be sharing another Christmas with his family, and he’s urging Manitobans to think twice about drinking and driving this season.
"It's so easy to plan ahead and either be the DD or have a DD or take that $20 cab,” he said. “I planned ahead and somebody still hit me because they didn't plan ahead."
Winnipeg police are cracking down on people who don’t plan ahead and instead break the law, risking people’s lives.
So far this month, Winnipeg police have nabbed 34 drunk drivers. Typically, police arrest about 560 impaired drivers each year in the city.
In rural Manitoba, the numbers are even worse.
So far this year, RCMP have arrested 1,576 impaired drivers.
“It’s too many. My reaction and anyone’s reaction is, ‘That’s too many,’” said Const. Jason Michalyshen. “It’s no secret that people getting behind the wheel after a quantity of alcohol is dangerous.”
Winnipeg police and RCMP checkstop programs are now in full swing, with officers hoping to catch drunk drivers before they hit people like Halpert.