On average one person dies a week in Saskatchewan due to impaired driving, says MADD


Wendell Waldron of MADD says the province is not tough enough on impaired driving and has the resources to strengthen its laws.

A Regina man who represents Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Saskatchewan says that now is the time for the government to get tough on impaired driving. 

Wendell Waldron of MADD said the case of former deputy premier Don McMorris and the recent tragedies in the province should spur the government to get tougher on impaired driving.

·         Don McMorris pleads guilty to drunk-driving charge, has licence suspended

"The Saskatchewan government needs to take a chance. Right now, SGI is waiting for five years to implement programs that are working clearly in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario.There's no better time to deal with this issue than right now," Waldron said.

But he said one change will not be enough. He would like to see vehicle seizures after a first offence, which is the law in B.C. — a province that has seen drunk driving fatalities reduced since implementing the seizure policy.

Waldron would also like to see increased licence suspension for DUI offences and more resources for police to conduct stop checks.

He said the recent death of a Regina father by a suspected drunk driver is another tragedy that can be avoided with more deterrence from the government.

"I believe that Brad Wall has to take this issue a bit more seriously. It's nice to see him tweeting after Rider games about defensive pass interference calls, but I'd like to see that urgency applied to drinking and driving as well," he noted. 


Tanner Kaufmann and his dog were both killed on Sunday afternoon, when they were hit by a truck north of Regina. A 19-year-old man has been charged with impaired driving causing death.

Sask. leads the country in DUI fatalities

Waldron pointed to stats the show that Saskatchewan is well ahead of other provinces when it comes to impaired driving. 

He said most numbers place Saskatchewan's DUI fatality rate at three to five times the national average. In Saskatchewan, one person dies a week on average as a result of impaired driving.

"We have B.C. and Alberta that take vehicles for a first time DUI offence. These are population bases that are much higher than Saskatchewan. They have the ability to produce the data that it would take us five or six years to produce," said Waldron.

"The data is clear you can reduce your fatalities if you take the vehicle away after the first DUI event. I don't know why they choose to wait because we lose one person every week in this province due to impaired driving."

McMorris guilty

On Wednesday, former deputy premier Don McMorris pleaded guilty to having a blood-alcohol level over .08 and was fined $1,820 on the charge. He's also had his licence suspended for a year. 

McMorris was arrested on Aug. 5 just outside of Regina at 11:30 a.m. CST while driving a government vehicle.

When his breath was tested, the blood-alcohol results were .200 and .210 — which is two-and-a-half times the legal limit of .08 per cent.


Saskatchewan MLA Don McMorris has pleaded guilty to driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 per cent. On Sept. 7, his driver's licence was suspended and he was fined $1,820.

Ted Gross said he wasn't shocked when he heard news of McMorris's arrest.

Almost two decades ago, Gross spent nine months in prison for killing a 21-year-old woman in a drunk driving crash. Since then, he's been outspoken about the dangers of drinking and driving.

He said nobody thinks it will happen to them — until it does.

"Any case should be a wake up call for somebody who, I guess, is thinking about doing it," said Gross. 

He said despite his own experiences, impaired drivers like McMorris don't deserve any empathy. He added that there needs to be changes made in the province's regulations to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel drunk.

Not unusual for the province, says MADD

According to Waldron, the timing on McMorris's arrest is not that unusual for Saskatchewan.

"Don McMorris's case is a perfect example. You have a gentleman who was driving over two and a half times the impaired amount level for this province at 11:30 in the morning — that is an unfortunate situation but it is very common here."

Waldron is planning on sending a letter to SGI and the premier expressing his concerns over impaired driving in Saskatchewan.

Source: CBC News


Last updated on: 2016-09-12 | Link to this post