A father and grandfather who lost nearly a third of his family to a drunk driver says the case of Don McMorris is another reminder of Saskatchewan’s backward attitudes toward impaired driving.
Lou Van de Vorst’s son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren were killed in a collision on Highway 11 in January. The woman who caused the crash was driving with about three times the legal limit of alcohol in her blood at the time. She was sentenced July 27 to 10 years in prison.
Van de Vorst said too many people in this province seem to think impaired driving is a joke.
“When you go to a Rider game and they flash the ad on from SGI about the stats and people laugh in the stands because of that — I mean what does that say about Saskatchewan as a community, as people?” he asked.
“It’s something to be totally ashamed about and totally mortified at that we have that attitude and how impaired driving is so common that people just think nothing of it,” he added.
McMorris was charged with impaired driving on Friday and announced his resignation from the Saskatchewan Party caucus on Saturday. He also gave up his role in cabinet, where he served as deputy premier and minister in charge of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and Saskatchewan Government Insurance. To date, he has not been convicted, nor has he pleaded guilty in court.
Van de Vorst said it might be a good idea to have impaired drivers spend some time with people like him who have lost loved ones, or survivors left with lifelong injuries after collisions.
“Maybe somebody needs to put a face on the victims instead of just the numbers,” he said.