Mar 16, 2016 - SASK DRUNK DRIVING ATTITUDES NEED TO CHANGE: KERPAN

Danille Kerpan

Saskatchewan people still don’t realize the dangers posed by impaired driving, says a former politician whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver.

“It’s a message that’s not getting through. What are we missing here?” Allan Kerpan said in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

The recent revelations that five candidates in the April 4 provincial election — three from the Saskatchewan Party and two from the NDP — have a total of seven impaired driving convictions among them came as a surprise.

“That would seem high,” Kerpan said.

It brought back painful memories for Kerpan, a co-founder of the Saskatchewan Party and former MLA and federal MP. Earlier this year, his family was in court to attend a sentencing hearing for the man who killed his daughter, Danille, while driving drunk.

Despite the personal difficulty, Kerpan said he’s glad the news has shone a light on the issue of impaired driving and the need to take things more seriously.

It’s imperative for candidates to disclose impaired driving convictions or other criminal records to their party, but he has mixed feelings about the public’s right to know, he said.

“I’m torn on that. I don’t know the answer.”

Kerpan said he doesn’t think candidates with impaired driving convictions should be disqualified from running.

“I think both leaders (Brad Wall and Cam Broten) said it well. You need to look at it on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

RELATED:  Political leaders defend five candidates with DUI charges

Kerpan said he hopes all MLAs take a fresh look at the issue after the election. He appreciates some of the changes made recently, but much more is needed, he said, noting Saskatchewan still has by far the worst record of drunk driving and drunk driving-related deaths in the country.

Kerpan said he favours a “three strike” rule, in which a person’s third impaired driving conviction would result in permanent loss of the offender’s driver’s license. He’s not interested in running for political office anymore, but plans to work hard changing Saskatchewan’s attitudes and actions on impaired driving, he said.

“This will be my last fight.”

Source: The Star Phoenix


 

Last updated on: 2016-03-26 | Link to this post