What will it take to stop drunk drivers?

Opinion Mar 30, 2016 Flamborough Review

Even as the Justice Michelle Fuerst prepared to announce the fate of confessed drunk driver Marco Muzzo on Tuesday, it became evident that for some members of the population, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues, somehow, to be an acceptable thing to do.

Muzzo, the 29-year-old heir to a construction empire, pled guilty in February to impaired driving causing death. The incident, which occurred Sept. 27 in Vaughan, claimed the lives of 65-year-old Gary Neville and his three grandchildren, Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, Harrison Neville-Lake, 5, and Milagros (Millie) Neville-Lake, 2.

At the time of the crash, Muzzo had 190-245mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system – nearly three times the legal limit.

To us, there is no stronger proof that drinking and driving has devastating, irreversible consequences that not even jail time can alter.

And yet, on the afternoon Muzzo received his 10-year-sentence, the Review received no fewer than six press releases from the Hamilton Police Service outlining impaired charges that had been laid over the previous few days.

In addition, the OPP reports that 94 people were charged with impaired driving on Ontario roads during the Easter weekend, three of them in Hamilton. According to MADD Canada, up to 1,500 deaths in the country each year are impaired-related.

Whether Muzzo’s sentencing is fair or not is for legal minds to decide; for all intents and purposes, jail time as a deterrent to drinking and driving comes too late for him. And we’re starting to wonder if the case will even serve as a cautionary tale to those who regularly consider getting behind the wheel after using alcohol or drugs.

If the heartbreaking photos published in the media of the three children who had their lives stolen by a drunk driver aren’t enough to get the message across, we don’t know what is.

Even as we are frustrated by the fact that the Neville family’s tragedy – and those of others who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers - are entirely preventable, our response to this tragedy is to search for solutions.

Police are doing their part, the courts are doing their part. The government can consider measures such as random testing, lifetime driving bans and standard use of ignition interlock devices.

All are good places to start. But we know that, when it comes down to it, there really is only one person who can make the decision not to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And we have a simple message.

Don’t drink and drive. Please.

What will it take to stop drunk drivers?

Opinion Mar 30, 2016 Flamborough Review

Even as the Justice Michelle Fuerst prepared to announce the fate of confessed drunk driver Marco Muzzo on Tuesday, it became evident that for some members of the population, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues, somehow, to be an acceptable thing to do.

Muzzo, the 29-year-old heir to a construction empire, pled guilty in February to impaired driving causing death. The incident, which occurred Sept. 27 in Vaughan, claimed the lives of 65-year-old Gary Neville and his three grandchildren, Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, Harrison Neville-Lake, 5, and Milagros (Millie) Neville-Lake, 2.

At the time of the crash, Muzzo had 190-245mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system – nearly three times the legal limit.

To us, there is no stronger proof that drinking and driving has devastating, irreversible consequences that not even jail time can alter.

And yet, on the afternoon Muzzo received his 10-year-sentence, the Review received no fewer than six press releases from the Hamilton Police Service outlining impaired charges that had been laid over the previous few days.

In addition, the OPP reports that 94 people were charged with impaired driving on Ontario roads during the Easter weekend, three of them in Hamilton. According to MADD Canada, up to 1,500 deaths in the country each year are impaired-related.

Whether Muzzo’s sentencing is fair or not is for legal minds to decide; for all intents and purposes, jail time as a deterrent to drinking and driving comes too late for him. And we’re starting to wonder if the case will even serve as a cautionary tale to those who regularly consider getting behind the wheel after using alcohol or drugs.

If the heartbreaking photos published in the media of the three children who had their lives stolen by a drunk driver aren’t enough to get the message across, we don’t know what is.

Even as we are frustrated by the fact that the Neville family’s tragedy – and those of others who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers - are entirely preventable, our response to this tragedy is to search for solutions.

Police are doing their part, the courts are doing their part. The government can consider measures such as random testing, lifetime driving bans and standard use of ignition interlock devices.

All are good places to start. But we know that, when it comes down to it, there really is only one person who can make the decision not to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And we have a simple message.

Don’t drink and drive. Please.

What will it take to stop drunk drivers?

Opinion Mar 30, 2016 Flamborough Review

Even as the Justice Michelle Fuerst prepared to announce the fate of confessed drunk driver Marco Muzzo on Tuesday, it became evident that for some members of the population, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues, somehow, to be an acceptable thing to do.

Muzzo, the 29-year-old heir to a construction empire, pled guilty in February to impaired driving causing death. The incident, which occurred Sept. 27 in Vaughan, claimed the lives of 65-year-old Gary Neville and his three grandchildren, Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, Harrison Neville-Lake, 5, and Milagros (Millie) Neville-Lake, 2.

At the time of the crash, Muzzo had 190-245mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system – nearly three times the legal limit.

To us, there is no stronger proof that drinking and driving has devastating, irreversible consequences that not even jail time can alter.

And yet, on the afternoon Muzzo received his 10-year-sentence, the Review received no fewer than six press releases from the Hamilton Police Service outlining impaired charges that had been laid over the previous few days.

In addition, the OPP reports that 94 people were charged with impaired driving on Ontario roads during the Easter weekend, three of them in Hamilton. According to MADD Canada, up to 1,500 deaths in the country each year are impaired-related.

Whether Muzzo’s sentencing is fair or not is for legal minds to decide; for all intents and purposes, jail time as a deterrent to drinking and driving comes too late for him. And we’re starting to wonder if the case will even serve as a cautionary tale to those who regularly consider getting behind the wheel after using alcohol or drugs.

If the heartbreaking photos published in the media of the three children who had their lives stolen by a drunk driver aren’t enough to get the message across, we don’t know what is.

Even as we are frustrated by the fact that the Neville family’s tragedy – and those of others who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers - are entirely preventable, our response to this tragedy is to search for solutions.

Police are doing their part, the courts are doing their part. The government can consider measures such as random testing, lifetime driving bans and standard use of ignition interlock devices.

All are good places to start. But we know that, when it comes down to it, there really is only one person who can make the decision not to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And we have a simple message.

Don’t drink and drive. Please.