Crashes from drinking and driving are the result of a choice made by the driver. They aren’t accidents, and the people they kill are victims in a crime that should never happen. Unfortunately people continue to die in drunk driving crashes, and it’s especially tragic when there’s news of a young person killed by a driver with a impaired driving charged on record. Given the circumstances, you have to wonder why the driver didn’t have an ignition interlock device in his vehicle.
18-year-old hockey player Dean Maxwell Junior Hancock was struck and killed in a crash involving 3 vehicles on Municipal Road 55 in Sudbury. After crossing the center line of the highway, the driver of a pickup truck, Walter Carter, struck Hancock’s car head on. Although charges are currently pending and information on those charges has not been released, Carter has been in trouble with the law due to impaired driving before.
In January of 2014, Carter was charged with impaired driving after being involved in another motor vehicle accident. Police administered a roadside breathalyzer test which he failed, and after entering police custody he was found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of twice the legal limit of .08. Carter was charged with having care and control of a vehicle while impaired as well as having care and control of a vehicle with over 80 mg of blood alcohol in his system.
For his January crash, Carter was issued a 90-day license suspension and his vehicle was impounded for 7 days. Unfortunately for the family of Dean Hancock, those charges had not made their way through the court system.
It’s not clear from the media reports on the crash whether one of the requirements from the January crash was Carter having an ignition interlock in his vehicle. Ontario ignition interlock laws state if you are convicted of impaired driving under the Criminal Code of Canada, you’ll have your license suspended and must install an ignition interlock in your vehicle in order to get your license back. If you choose not to install the interlock, you can’t drive until you do.
Until a time comes when people don’t drink and drive, an ignition interlock is the best option to keep drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. Whether for a first offender or someone who has several impaired driving convictions on record, ignition interlocks can stop an offender from making the choice to drink and drive.