There aren’t many Ontario drunk driving cases that have received the attention Marco Muzzo’s case has. He was convicted of four counts of drunk driving causing death after drove impaired from the airport, ran a red light, and crashed into a family’s minivan. The crash killed three small children and their grandfather.
Muzzo received a stiff 10-year sentence for his crime; one that Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other law enforcement deemed harsh enough to fit the crime. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he’ll be serving the entire sentence.
Not even two years after his sentencing he’s been moved to a minimum-security prison. There are a few reasons why a prisoner would be moved to minimum security prison so early into their sentence. Muzzo would have to meet a few different criteria including being a low risk to the public, a low flight risk, and a model prisoner.
He must be behaving according to their guidelines because he’s been moved one year before he’s officially eligible for day parole. According to the schedule released by Corrections Canada for Muzzo, that shouldn’t happen until November 2018. That schedule also says that he won’t be eligible for full parole until May of 2019. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean he can’t apply and be granted unattended day release prior to the regular schedule, and he’s eligible to apply this month.
He might not be a flight risk, and he may be a well-behaved prisoner, but only serving two years for a crime that took the lives of innocent children and their grandfather doesn’t seem like enough jail time. Muzzo made the choice to drink and drive, and in order to send a message to the public about the outcome of Ontario drunk driving and what can happen if you cause a crash like this one, Corrections Canada should hold him to his sentence.
But whether he gets day parole now or in a year from now, and whether he’s granted full parole and walks out a free man in 2019 or he stays for the duration of his sentence, nothing will change the fact that Jennifer Neville-Lake and her husband will be the people serving a life sentence for his crime. They’ll never see the faces of their children again, while sooner or later, it’s inevitable that Muzzo leave prison and move on.
It’s one of the many injustices that victims of drunk driving face after someone makes the choice to drink and drive, and these tragic crashes won’t stop until people stop mixing alcohol and driving.