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Two fatal accidents this week show impaired driving still a big problem

WATCH ABOVE: Things never seem to change. That's the impression left on the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Drivers following three deaths in a one week span in the Halifax-area. Police believe the accidents were the result of impaired driving and could have been prevented. Global's Natasha Pace reports.

HALIFAX – Three families in Nova Scotia are grieving the loss of a loved one this week following two separate motor vehicle accidents, all of which RCMP believe involved alcohol.

Early in the morning on October 18, RCMP responded to a single vehicle crash on Beaverbank Road in Beaverbank, after a Honda Civic with four occupants left the road and crashed.

A 21-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene, a 22-year-old woman died in hospital a short time later.

Police believe the driver of the vehicle was impaired at the time of the crash.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Second passenger dies after car crash on Beaverbank Road Sunday

One week later, a 40-year-old man from Dartmouth was killed after the car he was a passenger in crashed on Highway 7 in Head of Chezzetcook on Monday.

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Again, RCMP believe alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Debris is found on the side of Highway 7 in Head of Chezzetcook following a fatal motor vehicle accident.
Debris is found on the side of Highway 7 in Head of Chezzetcook following a fatal motor vehicle accident. Natasha Pace/Global News

“It’s devastating to hear that there’s still crashes and there’s still people making that decision to get into the car and drive while they’re impaired,” said Anissa Aldridge of MADD Canada.

Aldridge says despite widespread awareness campaigns and police check stops, things never seem get any better.

“I’m angry really that people make these choices and that things aren’t changing.”

In both recent accidents, the passengers were the ones who were killed.

“Both times the driver was injured, but not as badly as his passengers, who were killed,” Aldridge told Global News. “It’s just a crime and it can be prevented and its unnecessary.”

In 2014, RCMP say there were 12 fatalities and 14 serious injuries from accidents involving alcohol. So far this year, there have been three deaths and 26 serious injuries.

MADD Canada says they typically see a spike in alcohol-related accidents around Christmas, meaning there is likely to be even more tragedy on our roadways in the coming weeks.

“As an individual, what you can do is just make the right choices,” said Aldridge. “Don’t go out without making proper plans, knowing how you’re getting home, making sure you’re getting home safely.”

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“If you’re planning to go out and party, simply plan ahead, try to get a drive home, get a taxi, there’s other ways to get home other than drinking and driving,” said RCMP police spokesperson Cst. Mark Skinner.

Meanwhile, police are asking the public to call the authorities if you see someone who has been drinking get behind the wheel.

“If you suspect an impaired driver, we’d encourage anyone to call 9-1-1 and report. If it all possible, record the license plate, make, model of the vehicle, the number of occupants, the more detail you can give officers to intercept that vehicle, the more chance we have of catching that impaired driver,” said Skinner.