When you’ve caused an impaired driving crash, saying sorry to your victims just isn’t enough. That’s because when you drive drunk you’ve made a decision to get behind the wheel with your driving abilities impaired, and you need to accept the consequences that come along with that.
A man who just killed a mother of two and an RCMP officer near Victoria, BC will be the first person to tell you that. It’s even more tragic that this officer, Cst. Sarah Beckett, had a six year old child and had just returned from maternity leave after having her second baby.
Kenneth Fenton was arrested for causing her death after he was driving drunk with a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit of .08. He crashed his truck into her RCMP cruiser, and his two specific charges were impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. The impaired driving charge had the potential to put him in prison for life.
But he managed to get off with a lot less time, and he was sentenced to four years in prison and a ban from driving for five years after he’s released. According to the judge on the case, it was a fair sentence based on other impaired driving cases that have come through the courts.
If you look at the overall picture of impaired driving crashes in Canada, you wouldn’t be wrong to think he got off lightly. Marco Muzzo, the man who caused the impaired driving crash that killed three young children and their grandfather in the York Region of Ontario, received 10 years in prison for his crime. The Saskatchewan drunk driver who caused the death of the Van de Vorst family of four near Saskatoon also received 10 years for her impaired driving crash, although she’s since been moved to a healing lodge.
How much time in prison is enough time for driving drunk and killing someone? If you ask the families, there will never be enough time because they lost someone they loved to a preventable act. No amount of jail time will bring back the person who died.