You’ve probably seen your fair share of victim impact statements from families of loved ones killed by drunk drivers. It’s a tragic fact that when someone dies from drinking and driving, there are people left behind that have to live with the tragedy and miss their loved ones every single day.
But what you don’t often read about is how the driver who got behind the wheel drunk feels about what happened, even years later. Take Justin Hodel for example—a Saskatchewan man responsible for the death of an 88-year-old man due to drunk driving.
After spending the day out with friends, he got behind the wheel and was speeding in Regina when he rear-ended a vehicle with a family in it. In the aftermath of the crash, two people were removed with the jaws of life and one later died.
Hodel pleaded guilty to both impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm. For his decision to drink and drive he received 2 years less a day at a Provincial Correctional Center, and ended up serving 8 months plus another 8 months at a halfway house. He’s been banned from driving for 3 years.
The family he hit lost a loved one, and Hodel lost the desire to ever drink and drive again. In an interview in the Leaderpost.com, he says he had a very casual attitude toward drinking and driving before the crash. Now that it’s happened he, his friends, and his family all make a conscious effort to never drink and drive.
It’s a hard lesson to learn for the driver and the cost to the other family wasn’t something anyone should have to bear. That’s the reality of what can happen each and every time you make the decision to get behind the wheel while impaired.