Grace Nicole Wynen
11 years old
taken 2 week before the crash
This is the last school photo that I have of Gracie. Today Gracie would have been starting high school. What do I do with that knowledge? Some days I just don’t want to get out of bed. (Of course tonight, I can’t seem to make it into bed)
The next time I hear someone say that the drunk drivers have to live with their actions for the rest of their lives, I will point out that they at least get to live. Which is more of a choice than our loved ones got. It’s days like this that I stay away from discussions about what penalty would be sufficient for Impaired Driving Causing Death.
Based on the number of victims of drunk drivers 653 (from 2006 – I am trying to find a more recent number) and the fact that 18%-24% of fatalities of crashes involving alcohol are under 16 (I’m going to assume that they were not the drunk drivers – and the percentage varies from year to year, although it also seems to be going up) there are roughly 150 other CHILDREN not starting school today in Canada because they were killed by a drunk driver.
If you actually add in the roughly 2% increase in impaired driving per year and assume that that number translates to the same 2% increase in victims every year, then you actually have 180 CHILDREN not attending school this year because they were killed by drunk drivers.
How’s that for math skills? Pretty sad when someone with a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury can figure out what their own government can’t. Is it any wonder they can’t balance the budget.
Okay those last couple of lines were a little snippy but it’s 1 am and I can’t sleep (yet again). At least I edited out my original ending (“Put that in your pipe and smoke it.” ) Now that would have been really snippy.
“Never threaten a child with a punishment that you cannot or are not willing to follow through on.” – Barbara Coloroso (paraphrase)
“The most recent cycle of canadian legislative reform has focused on increasing sanction, particularly for repeat offenders. Federal Criminal Code amendments in 1999 increased the minimum fines and driving prohibitions for the three most common offences –impaired driving, driving with a blood alcohol level (BAL) above 0.08%, and failing to provide breath or blood samples. Significant changes have also occurred at the provincial level. For example, Ontario introduced legislation which, when fully implemented will impose indefinite licence suspensions on those convicted of three federal drinking and driving offences within 10 years, and British Columbia has followed suit.” 1
“Given the low percentage of guilty dispositions and the high percentage of stays and withdrawals, it appears that many suspects initially charged with impaired driving causing death or bodily harm were able to get these charges withdrawn in exchange for a guilty plea to impaired driving — a lesser offence.” 1
I live in Ontario and I have not heard of anyone losing their licence “indefinitely”. I can give you lots of examples of multiple offenders still driving with a licence though. Unfortunately, I have learned that our case was more normal than not in Ontario. Roughly 60-70% (depending on sources) of impaired driving causing death charges in Ontario are withdrawn by the Crown for a guilty plea to Over.08.
So, I wonder what the politicians would say to me fighting, not for stronger laws and enforcement, but for legislating what they are doing now – just putting an honest portrayal of what they are willing to so. Quit lying to us and just tell us the truth – put it into print. I wonder if any of them would allow it to go on the books that if you kill someone while driving drunk that you will not go to jail but will only lose your licence for 1 year.
Do you think they’d go for that instead?
(1) quotes taken from “Understanding drinking and driving reforms: a profile of Ontario statistics” by Carroll and Solomon