It’s hard for families of impaired driving victims to find a way to honour their loved one, but MADD is there to lend a helping hand. Along with offering support services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in Manitoba wants to make sure these victims will never be forgotten.
MADD Manitoba has been fundraising for a monument that will hold all of the names of impaired driving victims in Manitoba. It doesn’t matter if the crash occurred 5 days ago or 50 years, if a citizen was killed by a drunk driver, they can be included on the monument.
While MADD is working to memorialize victims of drunk driving, the province of Manitoba is trying to ensure no one else dies in an impaired driving crash. New impaired driving penalties came into effect on December 1st, 2015. Now everyone in Manitoba who is convicted of impaired driving will be required to install an ignition interlock in his or her vehicle. The province has also changed the warn range driver’s license suspension from one day to three days. If the driver has someone under the age of 16 in the car, that suspension will be seven days.
Although the penalties are harsh, the changes in law haven’t stopped everyone from drinking and driving. There are new reports of impaired drivers and crashes on the news every day. Just this month a cyclist was killed by a man who hit him and left the scene. He’s been charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, and failure to stop at the scene of a crash involving death. Unfortunately now the cyclist is another victim who can be added to the MADD memorial.
So far MADD has raised $17,000, and they still have several thousand to raise before they meet the goal for the cost of the monument. They hope to unveil it in August, and by doing so, forever remember impaired driving victims whose lives were claimed because of drunk driving.