May 21, 2012 - RED DEER RALLY TO URGE HARSHER SENTENCES FOR FATAL DRUNK DRIVING

Stop the Carnage set for June 8 at Red Deer City Hall

After seeing the driver who allegedly killed his son while impaired walk away from jail on $1,000 bail, Darren Keeler decided something needed to change inside the justice system.

“I was disillusioned about what type of sentence she would get,” Keeler said.

“Once I’ve realized that, at tops, we are looking at two or three years, it became evident to me that we need to do something for getting drunk driving causing death sentences up.”

Darren’s son, Colton Keeler, was killed west of Red Deer early on March 31.

After a party, a car that Keeler and friends were in broke down. As they were pushing the car off the road, they were hit by a Ford Focus.

Keeler was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tyson Vanderzwaag, 18, passed away six days later from his injuries suffered in the same collision.

RCMP charged April Gail Beauclair, 29, of Lacombe on six counts in connection to the crash, including impaired driving causing death.

Keeler’s family is now planning a rally, called Stop the Carnage, for Red Deer City Hall on June 8, corresponding with Beauclair’s next appearance in court.

There are about 370 people signed up so far for the rally. The goal is 1,000 people inside the park.

“Red Deer has been fantastic and they are very supportive of the rally,” Keeler said.

“That is one of the things that we are going on with the rally, strike while the iron’s hot.

“This is the time to do it and the time to raise awareness.”

Keeler is asking for stricter sentences, something in the range of five years, compared to the two to three he says they get now.

“Talking with some of the other victims that have gone through this, I’ve realized how low it is and that people are getting away with lower sentences than people that steal,” said the still grieving father.

“The sentences right now as it stands with drunk driving causing death are sad.

“I’d like to see some sort of minimum. I would think it would be no less than five years.

“As it stands right now, they can get life in prison but you never see those sentences handed out.”

For more information about the rally, check out www.facebook.com/dntdrinkndrive

Source: Calgary Herald

Last updated on: 2012-07-03 | Link to this post