Ted Gross still lives with his fatal mistake of drunk driving 18 years ago. He's now 39, but at the time he spent nine months in prison for driving his vehicle into another, killing the other driver.
In light of a crash north of Saskatoon that resulted in the death of a family of four, Gross is speaking out about the dangers of drunk driving. Catherine McKay, 49, is facing four counts of impaired driving causing death for the recent collision.
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"You never intend to go out and hurt somebody," he said. "And then, you know, God forbid you do, it changes your life. And it doesn't change your life in a good way."
Gross has shared his story a number of times over the years, trying to prevent tragedies.
"To me the personal guilt you go through — to me that's the sentence."
Saskatchewan worst province for drinking and driving
The latest numbers from SGI show there were 1,316 impaired driving-related collisions in Saskatchewan in 2014. Fifty-five people died in those accidents.
Ernie Louttit, a retired sergeant with the Saskatoon Police Service, said he's seen too many fatal cases involving alcohol.
"I probably dealt personally with, you know, 400-plus impaired drivers over my career," Louttit said. "It's so prevalent and I thought we were learning statistically, but the amount of impaired drivers hasn't really stopped."
According to Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan has more than double the national average for cases of drunk driving.
"When I was growing up, most everybody at one time or another drove when they were drinking," Louttit said. "But middle-aged people have to really take a look at the statistics and what they're risking and how they can ruin their own lives and everybody else's."