Saskatchewan

Funeral for father killed by alleged drunk driver encourages everyone to get home safe

The funeral Saturday for Tanner Kaufmann included the distribution of Drive Safe cards — wallet-sized cards with information on options about getting home after a night out.

Stronger penalities sought for impaired driving cases

Reminder cards, with information on how to ensure a safe trip home, were distributed at the funeral Saturday for Tanner Kaufmann. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

The funeral Saturday for Tanner Kaufmann included the distribution of Drive Safe cards — wallet-sized cards with information on options about getting home after a night out.

Kaufmann, 37, died last Sunday after being struck on a rural road north of Regina where he was training his dog. A 19-year-old man is before the courts accused of impaired driving causing death.

"Today was really tough," David Limacher, a close friend, said Saturday, adding it was important to continue talking about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Tanner Kaufmann and his dog were killed on Sunday afternoon, when they were hit by a truck north of Regina. (Submitted to CBC)

"I don't think Tanner would want us to stop talking about what's happened," he said. "Keep the awareness up and [have] people change their behaviours with impaired driving."

Limacher said he hopes the message resonates with people.

We need to be better as a community.- David Limacher

"It's time, as a society, that we woke up and said, 'We're not going to accept this anymore,'" he said.

Limacher also spoke approvingly of the interest of politicians in the province who he said have contacted him to talk about measures to combat drinking and driving.

"I would love to see the government make some moves on changing the laws for impaired driving," he said. "The penalties and the fines need to be a lot stronger."

Kaufmann was a father of two, and Limacher said the family has been coping very well.

"They're very broken. They're very hurt. But they're very strong," he said, noting that strength was a characteristic common to Kaufmann and his family. "They're rattled, they're visibly rattled."

The funeral service included references to impaired driving and, Limacher said, one of the messages was for society to make changes.

David Limacher at the funeral Saturday for his friend Tanner Kaufmann who was hit and killed Sunday by a driver who has been charged with impaired driving causing death. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

"We need to be better as a community, we need to be better as a society," he said.

"I think Tanner, part of his legacy, will be this awareness about the dangers of impaired driving and the need to have better laws," Limacher said.

Limacher said a trust fund to aid Kaufmann's children has been very well supported.

With files from CBC's Dean Gutheil

now