Hundreds of shoes shed light on drunk driving
The fight against impaired driving was brought to the steps of a Surrey courthouse on Saturday, as rows upon rows of shoes were laid out to symbolize those in Canada who were killed by drunk drivers.
The demonstration was led by Markita Kaulius and the group Families for Justice. Kaulius’ 22-year-old daughter Kassandra was killed by an impaired driver last year, and Kaulius says it’s time the laws change to get tougher on drunk driving.
Kaulius says she’s hoping the federal government will implement a mandatory minimum sentence for those who are convicted of impaired driving causing death, as she believes too many impaired drivers simply get away with what she considers to be a slap on the wrist.
“There’s no accountability, there’s no consequences, and they’ll just continue to do it,” she said outside Surrey Provincial Court.
The driver who pleaded guilty to Kassandra’s case will begin a sentencing hearing next month. Crown counsel is asking for three and a half years in prison, but Kaulius says she does not believe justice will be served no matter what the sentence is.
“They get on with their life and continue on,” she said. “We were handed a lifetime sentence without our daughter, and my daughter was given a death sentence.”
Varinder Badh lost her parents in 2008. The man who hit their vehicle pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Badh says all of the shoes laid out on Saturday show that deaths caused by impaired driving can be avoided.
“We hope to God that this doesn’t happen to another family,” she said. “All we can do is stress that this is preventable.”
With files from CTV British Columbia’s Maria Weisgarber