Federal Justice Minister MacKay is considering mandatory minimum sentences for impaired drivers who kill while driving.

March 04, 2014, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Statistics Canada lists impaired driving as a leading cause of criminal deaths in Canada. Each year there are more than 600 people who are killed in accidents involving drunk drivers. 200 of them are innocent bystanders, passengers, or drivers of other cars. There are on average more people killed by drunk drivers each year than by firearms in Canada.

Many victim advocacy groups are wondering why there seems to be a double standard when it comes to the sentencing of the drunk drivers and they are pressuring the federal government to enact minimum sentences in an effort to reduce the number of innocent deaths on the roads. The question of minimum sentences is a problematic one both in terms of overall cost to society, and in terms of their efficacy.

Education campaigns over the last 25 years have done a great deal to reduce the number of impaired drivers, but we know that repeat offenders are not deterred by fines, imprisonment, or education campaigns. The repeat impaired driver offenders are those with long term alcohol and substance abuse problems.

As the governments in Canada loosen laws around marihuana use and possession, we must also consider results of a recent survey that indicated a large number of young people who will not drink and drive, don’t think twice about getting high and driving. Both alcohol and drugs impact your reaction times and judgement. We must begin to use road side tests for drugs in order to prosecute those who are high as well as those who are drunk.


Posted under Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Drunk Driving Accidents, Spinal Cord Injury

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The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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