It can take a long time to process a court case in Canada, and for friends and family of a victim, waiting to see justice served for a drunk driving crash can feel like you’ll never see the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
Take an impaired driving case in Lethbridge, Alberta as an example. It’s taken four years to penalize Megan Sue Smith, a drunk driver who seriously injured her friend when she rolled a car.
The crash happened in April of 2012 when Smith was driving drunk after attending a house party with her friend. She wasn’t speeding but she lost control of the car and it flipped. The impact threw her passenger out of the window, and she suffered several injuries including permanent brain damage. Smith herself was uninjured because she was wearing her seat belt.
When blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) were taken from both Smith and her injured passenger, police found that they were both double the legal limit. Because she caused the drunk driving crash, Smith pleaded guilty to one count of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
Although that charge can result in the offender spending up to ten years in prison, Smith was sentenced to nine months in jail. She’ll also be on probation for two years, is banned from driving for one year, and she’ll have to attend counseling sessions.
This is just one court case that took years to reach its conclusion, and although she was a first time offender, it’s no surprise that the end result was jail time for severely injuring her friend. Injury or death is an inevitable outcome from a drunk driving crash, so make note of this case and think about it the next time you’re tempted to drink and drive. The same thing could easily happen to you.