Zero tolerance for drunk driving

 

I had a conversation with a friend recently.

She had been in a car accident the day before. I sat there and listened as my friend, eyes still wide, voice still trembling, went over the events. A driver was completely distracted and rear-ended her at a stoplight. We share the road with people we’ll never meet, and we still put trust in them.

Last month, Marco Muzzo was sentenced to 10 years in jail for killing three kids and their grandfather in Vaughan last September. Muzzo decimated a family, and yet, he’ll spend no more than a decade behind bars and is eligible for full parole after three years. When he gets out, he’ll be banned from driving for 12 years.

This means that Muzzo could be driving again before Milagros, the youngest child killed in the crash, would have turned 18.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada estimates that in 2010, more than 175 people were injured per day in impairment-related crashes. They estimated that more than three people died per day in related collisions that year.

In Canada, impaired driving is classified as getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08%, which means .08 grams of alcohol per 100 grams of somebody’s blood. Get caught blowing over .08 the first time and you lose your license for a year…maybe. The suspension can be reduced if you install an ignition interlock device in your car, something that you legally have to do anyway.

If you drive drunk, you should lose your license. Permanently.

I get it; maybe Muzzo’s tearful apology had a shred of sincerity in it. Maybe he does feel bad. But the consequences of a stupid decision are permanent.

It’s ludicrous that you have the opportunity to re-offend after doing something as reckless as driving drunk. We’re at the mercy of each other when we’re on the road, and regardless of how great you can drive, it can all come to an end in the blink of an eye. Just ask the Neville-Lake family.

I’m a firm believer in second chances, but there shouldn’t be any lenience when it comes to drinking and driving. There’s a difference between a small mistake and one that can wipe out an entire family.