Pubdate: Mon, 05 Jun 2017
Source: Daily Press, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Sun Media
Author: Emma Meldrum
Page: A1


Drunk driving rates across the country aren't going down.

The statistics may be consistent, but MADD volunteer Amy St. Amour is
hopeful that events like Strides for Change can keep the issue in
people's minds.

"I don't understand how somebody can have too many drinks and still
choose to drive," said St. Amour. "At the end of the day, it's a
choice that you make. I don't know how we're going to change that
mindset, but I do know that walks like this and all the events and
fundraising that we do, hopefully keeps it top of mind for everybody
in Timmins.

"It's the start of summer, we're going to be boating and
four-wheeling, dirt-biking, motorcycling and driving out to the
cottage. We just want to remind people that it's a crime."

A drunk driver killed Richard Lambert-Belanger's son Justin 16 years

He said there's "no excuse" for impaired driving.

"It's extremely disappointing. Drinking and driving, it's hard to
comprehend why the numbers either stay the same or continue to
increase when the solution is so obvious," said Lambert- Belanger.

He and his wife have spent time raising awareness in high schools and

"There's really no excuse, regardless of age. But what upsets me most
is when I hear (about) young kids (doing it), because with all the
amount of education and awareness going on, you would think the
message would sink in. For whatever reason, it hasn't.

"People just ignore and continue to put their lives and other people's
lives in danger every day. It's mind-boggling to my wife and I."

St. Amour noted that impaired driving includes mind-altering drugs
like marijuana.

The Strides for Change walk, held on Saturday at Gillies Lake, was
also a fundraiser for the local chapter, which supports Victim
Services and buys breathalyzer machines.

"We're hoping to raise enough funds to purchase whatever device it is
that the government deems good for impaired by drug as well," said St.

Steve Meunier, president of the local MADD (Mothers Against Drunk
Driving) chapter, thanked volunteers and participants for attending.

"We've got a blend of familiar faces and a lot of new faces, which is
nice," said Meunier, who noted new activities like mini-putt for children.

MADD'S website noted that about four people are killed in Canada every
day due to car accidents involving alcohol or drugs. It also noted
that more than half of crash deaths in 2012 involved drivers who had
some level of alcohol or drugs in their system.
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