When someone loses someone to a drunk driving crash, it can be hard to channel the grief. Some people might start a scholarship or other fund to ensure that the victim lives on in some way, while others spend their lives seeking justice or trying to help other victims. For Lee Yasinksy, a Winnipeg man, the way to channel his own grief after losing his son to a drunk driver is to stake out local bars and stop drunk drivers.
Stopping others before they cause their own drunk driving crash has been a mission for Yasinksy for the past 5 years, and it began when his son Brett was killed in November of 2010 by a drunk driver. His son’s car was crumpled beyond recognition by the crash, while the driver of the pickup truck that hit him only received minor injuries. Upon sentencing, the driver received 2 ½ years in jail for the crash.
Now Yasinksy will spend Friday or Saturday nights driving to locations where there are bars or pubs to watch for drunk drivers. After parking in the parking lot, he’ll watch to see if drivers are stumbling to their vehicles. He’ll then follow the driver and with a dash cam running, he captures video of people hitting curbs, driving through red lights, and weaving across lanes. That’s when he calls 911 to report a possible drunk driver.
According to his own reports, he’s assisted with the apprehension of 5 drunk drivers, and he’ll be a witness in a drunk driving case this coming year. Police have stated that the footage he captures is especially useful when prosecuting drunk drivers, and although they urge caution when it comes to following and not interacting with drunk drivers, they appreciate that a concerned citizen is sending out an alert.
Yasinksy may even start an organization called Dads Against Drunk Driving, where other Dads take action by volunteering their time to find and report drunk drivers. If he does, he might be able to help other family members channel their own grief.