Metro Morning

Drunk driver who killed cyclist should serve more time, critic says

Darya Selinevich is going to jail for hitting and killing a Toronto father with her car while driving impaired. The 23-year-old was sentenced to serve seven years in prison, reduced for time served, but some critics say it isn't enough.

Impaired driver Darya Selinevich is going to jail for hitting and killing Toronto father Zhi Yong Kang

Darya Selinevich was sentenced to seven years in jail, reduced for time served, for impaired driving in the death of 44-year-old cyclist Zhi Yong Kang. (CBC)

Darya Selinevich has been sentenced to seven years in prison for impaired driving connected to the death of a Toronto father she struck in the wee hours of June 11, 2015.

The incident happened while the 23-year-old woman was already on a one-year driving ban from a previous impaired driving conviction — which is the CEO for MADD Canada said Selinevich's sentence should have been longer.

​"She's a repeat offender, I think a sentence in the neighbourhood of 10 years [or more] would have been more appropriate," Andrew Murie told CBC Toronto. "It's about deterring people from really getting behind the wheel."

And Selinevich's sentence has already been reduced to 4½ years, to reflect additional credit for the time spent in custody awaiting trial in Zhi Yong Kang's death. 

A bicycle lies at the scene where cyclist Zhi Yong Kang was killed. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Murie noted that the woman's conduct — which included jokes about drunk driving on social media — should also have been taken into account by the judge. 

Selinevich's Facebook profile made several references to impaired driving. One post from 2012 included a picture of a pint glass in a car's cup holder, while in another post she mocked a police R.I.D.E. poster. 

"That kind of behaviour is shocking," Murie said. "The majority of the population never drinks and drives and the majority of the population are disgusted by people that do." 

Mandatory screening for impaired drivers could help

Murie says Canada should adopt mandatory screening policies, which would allow police to screen every driver for alcohol and drugs.

"It will make a fundamental difference. It made an incredible difference in Ireland when they brought it in recently. Not only does it reduce the fatalities, it reduces the number of people who are impaired on the roads and, actually, the number of charges laid by police.

"It's a win-win." 

Metro Morning