22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius of Surrey, was killed by a drunk driver in 2011. Langley MP Mark Warawa just introduced 'Kassandra's Law' which would create a criminal charge called vehicular homicide and can carry up to life in prison.

Langley MP Mark Warawa wants the law to start calling impaired driving causing death “what it truly is: vehicular homicide.”

Warawa introduced Kassandra’s Law, a Private Member’s Bill, which if passed would create a new criminal charge called vehicular homicide for impaired driving causing death.

The bill, which Warawa introduced in the House of Commons last Monday (Feb. 2), was named after 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius of Surrey, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2011.

The goal is to eventually introduce a law asking for mandatory minimum sentencing for vehicular homicide, said Warawa. But at this time, only naming the crime would change. Families for Justice were hoping to see impaired driving causing death carry a minimum sentence of five years in jail.

Since Kassandra’s tragic death, her mother, Markita, has worked with other grieving families and created the group ‘Families for Justice.’ They have been lobbying for stiffer penalties for drunk drivers.

In 2011, Natasha Warren was speeding, ran a red light and smashed her van into Kassandra’s car at 152 Street and 64 Avenue. The crash killed Kassandra. Warren then left her vehicle and hid in the bushes nearby. She admitted to consuming a bottle and a half of wine before getting behind the wheel. She was sentenced to three years in prison, served two and was released recently.

“The bill, which was introduced into Parliament, is only the first step. We’ve been fighting for several changes to laws for the last three and a half years, and will continue to do so,” said Markita on the Families for Justice Facebook page.

One thousand Canadians are killed every year by impaired drivers. Impaired driving is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada every year, said Warawa, a former ICBC safety co-ordinator.

“Family and friends are devastated and their lives are torn apart when this happens,” said Warawa.

“In 2011, 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was tragically killed by a drunk driver. Her family joined others who have also lost loved ones to impaired drivers, and created an organization called Families for Justice. Nearly 90,000 Canadians have signed petitions calling for changes to the Criminal Code.

“Kassandra’s Law, does one thing that Families for Justice and tens of thousands of Canadians are callling for: to call this terrible crime what it truly is: ‘Vehicular Homicide’,” he said in the House of Commons.

The more than 80,000 people who signed the Families for Justice petition asked that the laws change for those convicted of vehicular homicide would get a minimum sentence of five years in prison. Those convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm would carry a minimum one-year jail sentence. Each conviction would also carry driving bans.


Source: Langley Times


Last updated on: 2015-02-08 | Link to this post