Canada has many different levels of impaired driving laws; some are in place according to the Canadian Criminal Code while others work on the provincial level. Although these laws work, there’s always room for improvement, and to do that Canadian lawmakers might want to take a look at deterrent programs.
Deterrent programs at work
Although most Canadian provinces require a first time impaired driving offender to attend an alcohol treatment program after conviction, laws don’t usually require deterrent programs. Deterrent programs are where a drunk driver attends a victim impact panel or drunk driving sentencing to hear firsthand how drunk driving affects a victim or the victim’s family’s life.
There’s also other types of deterrent programs available in countries like the United States, and some of them include a trip to the morgue. That’s where a drunk driver could see exactly what can happen if she or she decides to drink and drive again.
Newfoundland case every impaired driver should be required to read about
There was one sentencing hearing in Newfoundland recently that could form the basis of a drunk driving deterrent program in the province. Every convicted impaired driver should be made to watch or read about a crash that claimed the life of an eighty-three-year-old woman.
She died on impact when the drunk driver crashed into her, and when witnesses arrived he tried to leave the scene despite that fact that she was covered in blood and appeared to have severe injuries. After telling witnesses she looked fine, he grabbed a case of beer from his van and walked away.
Her daughters took to the stand and talked about life without her, how they were shattered, couldn’t cope with the anxiety, and spent months trying to get their lives back in order without the family anchor; their mother. It’s a similar tale to what you’d hear from other families after a drunk driving crash, but it’s made all the worse by the fact that the driver callously walked away after the crash.
Attending a sentencing hearing like this one as part of deterrent programs could change the attitude of any convicted drunk driver and stop them from becoming repeat offenders. That’s exactly what Canada needs in every province to put the brakes on this constant flow of impaired drivers.