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‘Useless, senseless crime’: MADD Canada launches red ribbon campaign in Halifax

Click to play video: 'National Impaired Driving Prevention Week'
National Impaired Driving Prevention Week
Global’s Eilish Bonang speaks with MADD Canada’s CEO, Steve Sullivan, about this year’s National Impaired Driving Prevention Week and some of the devastating statistics we’re seeing country-wide. – Mar 21, 2023

Volunteers with MADD Canada and Halifax Regional Police members launched the annual Red Ribbon campaign with a blunt and frequently repeated message: Impaired driving kills.

Linda Harker spoke on behalf of MADD Canada’s Halifax chapter, while volunteers handed out ribbons at the Macdonald Bridge on Thursday morning.

Her daughter, Erin, was just 18 years old when she was struck and killed by an impaired driver in August 1997, while walking on Beaver Bank Road near her home.

The driver would later be convicted for causing her death.

“Impaired driving kills,” Harker put it plainly.

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“It affects not just immediate family. It changes the dynamics for everyone involved. It’s a useless, senseless crime.”

She said in this “day and age,” there’s no excuse to drive while impaired — pointing out that people have the option of taking cabs, ordering an Uber, or picking a designated driver.

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“It’s a choice. Driving is a privilege,” she said.

“Everybody out on the road wants to get home at the end of the day. They want to get home safe.”

The latest statistics show Halifax Regional Police charged 43 drivers with impaired driving, whether by alcohol or drug, in the month of October alone.

Of the drivers who provided breath samples, four of them were at least twice the legal limit.

“We know that many drivers out there on the road, unfortunately, are still driving impaired, and we’re here to bring awareness to that,” said Const. John MacLeod, spokesperson with Halifax Regional Police.

MacLeod says police will have an “increased presence” on the roads this holiday season, when incidents of impaired driving tend to rise.

“As we know, impaired driving takes lives and causes a huge cost in our community. We want to we want to stop that as best as we can.”

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