October 31, 2016 7:53 pm
Updated: October 31, 2016 9:07 pm

Families impacted by drunk driving welcome new changes to Sask. impaired driving laws

WATCH ABOVE: Perhaps the changes to Saskatchewan's impaired driving legislation matters most to families impacted by drunk drivers. They're calling it a step in the right direction to changing the rooted culture of drinking and driving. Christa Dao has been talking to them and getting their reactions.

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Families who have lost their loved ones to impaired driving said they’re happy about the changes announced Monday to Saskatchewan’s drinking and driving laws.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan getting tougher on impaired driving with new laws

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Alyscia Kaufmann’s husband Tanner and their dog were killed after an alleged drunk driver collided with Kaufmann’s parked truck on a rural road north of Regina in early September. Nineteen-year-old Colby Heid has been charged with one count of impaired driving causing death.

READ MORE: Regina man charged with impaired driving in death of Tanner Kaufmann given bail

Since his death, Tanner’s family has been very outspoken about the impaired driving laws.

“I’m extremely happy with the swiftness that the government has taken into steps to increase the consequences,” Alyscia said. “The fact that my husband died within just a couple of months, they’ve already done quite a bit.”

“Do I think there could be more? Of course I always think there could be more.”

It’s thoughts echoed by the Van De Vorst family about the new changes. In January, Jordan Van De Vorst, his wife Chandra and two children, Kamryn, 5, and Miguire, 2, were killed in a highway collision near Saskatoon.

READ MORE: Saskatoon family reeling after fatal crash claims four lives

The person responsible was a drunk driver. Catherine McKay was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She’s also banned from driving for 12 years when she gets released.

Louis Van De Vorst said no one should have to go through what his family went through. He said he’s impressed with the changes, and that it’s a start in the right direction.

“When you have 14 people at the dinner table … and four people are gone, people should not have to deal with that,” Louis said.

“I like the fact that there’s more education, more penalties … stiffer penalties.”

Wendell Waldron with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said he commends the province for finally taking action.

“We met with the minister less than a month ago, and for him to step up and make these changes right now, this is a step in the right direction,” he said.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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