Nova Scotia

Lengthy cab wait in deadly drunk-driving case disappoints MADD

The Atlantic director of MADD Canada says she's "disappointed and sad" that a group of young people involved in a drunk-driving crash near Halifax was told it would be a two-hour wait for a cab home.

Group opted to ride with drunk driver instead of waiting two hours for a taxi

MADD Canada says it works closely with the taxi industry to ensure cabs are an easy option for people who don't want to drive drunk.

The Atlantic director of MADD Canada says she's "disappointed and sad" that a group of young people involved in a drunk-driving crash near Halifax was told it would be a two-hour wait for a cab home.

"I'm sure that when you're in that state, you probably don't want to wait for two hours," said Anissa Aldridge.

"I'm certainly not saying that's a justification, but that's a very long time to wait."

Group opted for lift by drunk driver

The group of four, in their late teens and early 20s, instead opted to drive themselves home on Oct. 8, 2015, even though the chosen driver was drunk.

Anthony Cox crashed the car on the Beaver Bank Road, killing two of his passengers and seriously injuring a third.

Cox admitted to drinking four beer and four vodka shots before getting behind the wheel, although his licence was suspended.

He was sentenced Tuesday to 4.5 years in prison.

At his sentencing, court was told Cox and his friends didn't want to wait for the cab following a party in Beaver Bank.

MADD works closely with taxi industry

A traffic reconstructionist inspects the scene of the October 2015 crash. (Elizabeth McMillan/CBC)

Aldridge was in court to provide comfort and support to the families of Cox's victims.

She said MADD Canada works closely with the taxi industry to promote cabs as an alternative to driving drunk.

They run ads urging people to use their cellphones to immediately connect with a cab, anywhere, anytime.

"These people are very much in support of providing that ride home," Aldridge said.

"So I was very disappointed to hear that there was a two-hour wait."

Two-hour wait disputed

A spokesman for the taxi industry, however, disputes the group was told it would be a two-hour wait for a cab.

"It's impossible for me to believe that on a typical weeknight, when there's nothing out of the ordinary occurring, no special events, that sort of thing, that anybody in [the] Sackville [area] would have to wait two hours for a cab," said Dave Buffett, president of the Halifax Taxi Drivers Owners Association.       

"I think the person who said that is being less than truthful, quite frankly."

Cox's sentencing hearing was not told which cab company the group called the night of the crash.

Buffett said even at the height of a storm like the one that hit the province Saturday, two hours would be the maximum time a customer would have to wait for a cab.