Swift, certain, and severe.

That’s the kind of punishment that will eliminate drunks from the roads, says the mother of a woman killed two years ago by a recently paroled drunk driver.

Sandra Green’s daughter Krista Howe and son-in-law Brad Howe were killed Feb. 7, 2010 in Red Deer when Chad Olsen ran a red light and smashed into their car, orphaning the couple’s five kids.





On Wednesday, she watched Olsen be granted full parole after serving just 16 months with conditions he go to counselling and must not drink.

“All in all, it’s really minor what has happened to him and I think it sends a very loud and clear message to anybody who wants to live that life — that go to the bar, drive home,” she said Sunday.

“You might not get caught you might and if you do ... not much will happen to you.

“He has had a little diversion, a little hiccup in his life, and his life will go on for him and he has really had to pay very little.

“It went exactly as I thought it would go, knowing what our system is ... that doesn’t represent justice in anyway as far as I’m concerned.”

Last April, Olsen was initially sentenced to what Green called an “embarrassing” 27 months, but in October, appeal judges hiked it to 3 1/2 years before he then received day parole in December.

“Two people, five orphans, multiple people affected by this ... and they only asked for 3 1/2 years knowing full well they would only get a very small portion of that, and in fact it is legislated if you kill someone because you are impaired it carries a life sentence,” she said.

In the wake of a recent spate of drunk driving crashes on Alberta roads, she said it’s time for drastic change.

“In order to be effective with impaired drivers, the sentences need to be swift ... they need to be certain, you need to know what they are, and they need to be severe,” Green said.

“Something that someone who is going to engage in that kind of activity is going to say ‘it’s not worth the risk to me to drink this alcohol and get in my vehicle and drive.’”

On Aug. 12, Sean Mahoney’s wife Kelli-Jo Smith died in his arms after she was killed by an alleged drunk driver in a crash at Bow Tr. and Sarcee Tr. S.W, and a month before, on July 14, Chestermere’s Tony Harrison was hit head-on and killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his motorcycle on 17 Ave. S.E.

Green also wants zero alcohol tolerance implemented, with immediate jail times.

“We need some backbone, we need some laws that are going to speak to a big risk for an offender and that way we will prevent people from driving crazy and killing people when they are drunk, because you will eliminate a great portion of them,” she said.

Green has spoken to her MP and requested an interview with Prime Minister Stephen Harper many times, and been turned down.

The Howe kids, now between seven and 17 yeas old, are doing well.

“The kids are resilient, they talk about their mom and dad everyday still but they are happy and they had a great summer,” she said.

“Life is just not the same as it was before.”

Alberta’s Solicitor General Jonathan Denis told the Sun last week the province has done everything it can under its Constitutional powers to get tougher on drunk drivers, but Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson said provincial leaders should petition the feds to impose much longer sentences and strip licences from offenders.

Link to Sandra's Impact Statement

Source: Calgary SUN



Last updated on: 2012-09-10 | Link to this post