Police in Saskatchewan have a massive drunk driving problem on their hands. Although steps have been taken to crack down on drivers in the province with new impaired driving laws, longer ignition interlock programs, and even a drop in blood alcohol content (BAC) to .04 to catch buzzed drivers, police managed to capture over three hundred drunk drivers in the month of May alone.
While the police are out nabbing drunk drivers in record numbers, that doesn’t mean impaired driving crashes in the province have slowed down. There have been two that have just finalized in the court system that stand out as examples of what’s been going on in the province.
Just over two years for the death of a child
When a man in Muskoday First Nation, Saskatchewan made the decision to drive while under the influence of drugs, he crashed into and killed a ten-year-old child who was riding his bicycle with other children.
Although the crash happened in 2014, the sentencing process was just finalized. For killing a child while driving drunk, the driver only received 30 months in jail. He’ll also receive a five-year driver’s license suspension.
Three years in jail for the death of Tanner Kaufmann
It was an emotional sentencing hearing, and when it was all said and done, Colby Heid was given three years in a federal prison for causing the death of Tanner Kaufmann. Heid was driving drunk and speeding at the time. He struck Tanner and his dog as they stood beside their vehicle.
During the sentencing several of Tanner’s loved ones spoke out, and because Heid showed remorse for his actions, the judge sentenced him to three years in jail and a driver’s license suspension for five years after he’s released.
Two crashes, two innocent people dead, and two fairly light jail sentences: is this limited amount of jail time for taking a life an appropriate deterrent or just another part of the drunk driving problem in Saskatchewan? No one knows yet, but given how fast they changed their impaired driving laws, you can believe that Saskatchewan law makers are also taking a closer look at the court system.