VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s that time of the year when holiday parties dot the calendar. But there is a sobering reminder not to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.
Markita Kaulius’ daughter Kassandra was killed by a drunk driver over three years ago and says there are still far too many Canadians losing their lives each year because of alcohol.
“We’re still losing 1,200 to 1,600 people a year, killed by impaired drivers in Canada. Roughly four to six people a day are killed and 190 per day are injured.”
Kaulius, who is the president of the Families For Justice Society, hoped the numbers would be enough to discourage people from getting behind the wheel after drinking. But that’s not the case.
“If you choose to take that risk and put the public at large at risk, then you should be held accountable for your actions. If they kill someone, that’s a vehicular homicide or manslaughter, whichever,” she argues.
She doesn’t think the problem is a lack of enforcement by police.
“I’m outraged that the government has not done something to change this. The recent stats in BC show that in the first nine months of this year, we have given out over 16,180 immediate roadside prohibitions, administrative driving prohibitions, and 24-hour suspensions.”
Kaulius would like to see minimum five-year sentences for anyone convicted of killing someone while impaired behind the wheel.
She doesn’t think anything has changed in the years since her daughter was killed. The woman convicted in that case was given a 37-month sentence.