The family of a woman who died after being hit by a car in a crosswalk are calling on the province to toughen its drinking and driving laws.
"In Nova Scotia, our legislation has to change. If you drink and drive, you get a mere slap on the wrist," said Denise Lorraine Wilson.
Wilson’s mother, Lorraine Peters, died in hospital Sept. 7 after being hit a day earlier by a driver who had allegedly been drinking and driving.
The man's license was suspended for seven days when he registered a blood alcohol level on a roadside screening device.
Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. Pierre Bourdage said that level wasn't high enough to arrest him.
"Gave us a warning, which means a reading between .05 and .08," he said. "Under the law then, we cannot request a second breathalyzer. We cannot arrest the individual under any grounds for impaired driving."
The car was turning right from Herring Cove Road onto the Williams Lake Road when it hit Peters.
"She was struck in a marked crosswalk where she had the walk signal — we have witnesses to attest to that," said Wilson.
"Her injuries were severe, to the point that it was hard to believe that it was just a right turn on red."
Peters' grandson, Vince Wilson says the family can't fathom so few legal consequences. The driver was issued tickets for failing to yield to a pedestrian on a turn at a red light and illegally possessing liquor.
"Still the fact remains that you can turn right on a red, mow down a pedestrian run clean over at this point and all you'll get is a small ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian," he said.
Denise Wilson can’t understand why the charges weren’t more severe and says hearing about the tickets, she felt traumatized all over again.
"We watched her as a family bleed out her ears because there's no way they could stop that. So, I’m not understanding, based on the circumstances, why the charges that were laid were so brief and only tickets and that more didn't take place," she said.
"My mother's body, on one side, was severely broken. Her cause of death was blunt force trauma to her head."
Wilson says that if people have been drinking and can’t afford to get a taxi, then they should stay where they are.
"Once you have a drink, there should be no tolerance for getting behind that wheel," she said.