Seriously Canada? I’m pretty happy to be in you most of the time. We’re pretty good to refugees, we have some very good restaurants, and we’re a stunningly safe place to live when compared to most of the rest of the world. But I just learned that, despite all our good things, we actually rank No. 1 for drunk driving deaths among wealthy countries.
That’s higher than the U.S. AND VINCE NEIL LIVES THERE.
The National Post reports:
“Despite years of public messaging about the dangers of drinking and driving, Canada ranks No. 1 among 19 wealthy countries for percentage of roadway deaths linked to alcohol impairment, according to a new study.
The finding by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control should serve as a warning to lawmakers that new strategies are needed to combat impaired driving, which remains the top criminal cause of death in Canada, safety advocates say.”
Andy Murie, CEO of MADD Canada, is quoted as saying, “The CDC does the best studies; their information is undebatable. It’s a wake-up call. We need to do more.”
Apparently the study found that fewer people were dying from motor vehicle crashes in Canada but the proportion of deaths linked to alcohol impairment was 34 per cent, higher than any of the other countries in the survey.
The US came in second at 31 per cent, followed by Australia (30 per cent), and France (29 per cent). “Countries with the lowest percentage of fatal crashes tied to alcohol were Israel (3.2 per cent), Japan (6.2 per cent), and Austria (6.8 per cent).”
I don’t know. I’m not a lawmaker. But maybe the fact that we basically give drunk drivers who kill people a free pass might have something to do with it.
Just last month Jared Dejong was sentenced to just five years for killing Andrea Christidis on the Western University campus last October. Dejong was drunk when he drove up ONTO THE SIDEWALK and killed Andrea, who was 18 years old and had only been at university for one month.
Andrea’s father recently died of a heart attack and his family is convinced his heart was broken. “He died of a broken heart” they said in a statement. Andrea’s mother and sister have been left to pick up the pieces.
Five years? How is that only worth five years? One killing and an entire family destroyed.
Seriously. Fuck that guy.
I know this is a radical idea but maybe if there were actual consequences for killing people in this country people would do less of it. And yes, I know the US is just as bad, worse even. But I don’t live in the US and I’m talking about Canada.
Murie is quoted as saying that one measure that would go a long way to reducing impaired-driving deaths is random roadside breath tests.
“MADD Canada estimates the introduction of mandatory screening on roadways, which already exists in several European countries and Australia, would have a major deterrent effect — reducing impaired-driving fatalities by 20 per cent.”
But Micheal Vonn, who is “policy director for the B.C. Civil Liberties Association” says this idea is an “extraordinary” measure that would have to pass Charter scrutiny and requires “compelling” justification because Canadians are guaranteed protection from unreasonable search and seizure, “so such a measure would require proof that existing strategies to combat impaired driving are not working and that mandatory screenings make a difference, she said.”
Conservative MP Steven Blaney has already introduced a bill that includes a provision allowing for mandatory roadside screening. The bill also would impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for impaired driving causing death, and apparently MADD is not as enthusiastic about that part, which I find strange. And Justice Canada doesn’t support it either. Why such a resistance to punishing killers in this country? I genuinely don’t get it. If we sent everyone who drives drunk and kills someone to prison for 20 years they would STOP DOING IT, which is what we want, no?
The bill has reportedly gone through second reading in Ottawa and is scheduled to undergo review by a parliamentary committee in the fall.
There’s also talk of dropping the legal blood alcohol level from 0.08 to 0.05.
Maybe it should be zero until people learn how to behave.