Two young New Brunswickers who lost their parents to a drunk driver are leading a campaign to stop impaired driving.
Kali and Jeremy O'Dell's parents, Laura and Greg, were killed Oct. 26, 2006 when the children were just 12 and nine years old.
The siblings were in the car with their parents.
'There is no good that will come out of drinking of driving. It's not logical.'- Jeremy O'Dell
They say RCMP officers played an important role in saving their lives and they are now working with Codiac RCMP in their Don't Drink and Drive campaign.
Jeremy and Kali worked in connection with MADD Canada to thank officers at the inaugural Team O'Dell event Tuesday.
Seventeen RCMP officers from the Codiac Division were recognized for stopping and arresting impaired drivers over the last year.
"It's great to know that the officers are really making sure it doesn't happen again," said Jeremy.
"There is no good that will come out of drinking of driving. So it's basically, you're risking everything for nothing. And it's not logical," said Jeremy.
Kali said, "And having been in the crash, I can't imagine how horrifying it would be to see it from the outside and know that at the end of the day there was nothing more you could have done."
Making an impact
Moments like this help officers appreciate what they do, said Const. Daniel Nguyen.
"Sometimes you do your job and you're not sure if it has an impact or not. But when you hear a story like their story, it gives you more confidence that you're really actually making a difference and impacting the community," he said.
Kali hopes their story will deter people from drinking and driving.
But she also believes violators should be more seriously punished.
Kali said stricter penalties are needed for first-time offenders to deter them from repeating their crime.
"I personally have a really hard time understanding why first-time offenders don't get stricter punishments than they do. Because people who often end up killing people have been offending for years and just drank too much and thought they could get away with it," she said.
"Knowing that there are so people going in and out of courts and getting off with slaps on the wrists is really frustrating, especially for us who are actively trying to eliminate it."