Sunday February 28, 2016
Are we making progress in the battle against impaired driving?
This week's testimony of a mother who lost all three of her children to a drunk driving accident, broke hearts across the country. Are we making progress in the battle against driving under the influence? With guest host Susan McReynolds.
More from this episode:
- CBC Forum: What else needs to be done about driving under the influence?
- CALLER: 'I got away with murder': former drunk driver
- CALLER: Forgiveness is the only way to move on from drunk driving collision: father
- CALLER: It's often the passenger that bears the brunt of impaired driving
"What hope is there when your entire world is gone. every single piece of our lives have been altered because of somebody else," said Jennifer Neville-Lake in her victim impact statement. She is the mother of three young children children who were killed, along with their grandfather, when a drunk driver crashed into their mini van last September in Vaughan, Ont.
She was speaking outside of the court house during the sentencing hearing of that driver—29-year-old Marco Muzzo. He has pleaded guilty to charges of impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm.
The court heard how Muzzo's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.
The Crown is asking for a sentence that will reflect the severity of the crime: 10 to 12 years in prison and a driving ban of eight to 12 years.
Defence lawyer Brian Greenspan asked the judge for eight years in prison, citing that Muzzo is unlikely to re-offend.
The judge will render her sentence at the end of March.
In this program we heard Canadians' reflections on the issues raised by this tragic case.
Although, statistically the number of alcohol related deaths is declining in Canada the numbers are still staggering.
In 2010, impairment-related crashes resulted in over 1,000 fatalities and over 63,000 injuries.
Many are quick to point out that it is not only drinking and driving that is the problem; but, driving under the influence of drugs also contributes to many of the fatalities.
Some call for stiffer penalties, others say penalties are stiff enough and we have to figure out other ways to stop people from making that potentially fatal decision to get behind the wheel of a car while impaired.
Our question: "Are we making progress in the battle against drunk driving?"
Constable for the York Regional Police
Founder of Families for Justice, a group advocating against drunk driving
Lawyer and partner at the law firm Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP
Chief Executive Officer of MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
- Grieving mother pushes for tougher drunk driving sentences in wake of Vaughan crash
- Jennifer Neville-Lake says public supports life in prison penalty for drunk driving
- Marco Muzzo sentencing: 'What hope is there when your entire world is gone,' mom says
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls for tougher legislation after Van de Vorst family killed in crash
- Tina Adams, survivor of drunk driving accident, has a message for young people