Program asks drivers to dial 911 on drunk drivers
A mother who lost her son in a drunk-driving accident is reminding people to call 911 if they see an impaired driver.
Louise Knox said she remembers the night the RCMP officer came to her door and gave her the news every parent fears.
Her 16-year-old son, Mike, was hit head-on by a drunk driver near St. Paul, Alberta in 1999.
"Instead of picking out colleges or universities, we had to pick out funeral homes. Instead of deciding on his grad outfit, it was picking out what he was going to be buried in," she said.
Now, Knox is the western chapter services manager with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada. She wants everyone who sees someone who could be drunk or high behind the wheel to call 911.
Mark Riffel, the owner of Affiliated Auto Wrecking just outside of Saskatoon, sees totalled cars from accidents come in all the time - some even with beer bottles still in them.
When he sees that, he said he thinks about his family.
"I'm a new father. I have twin girls at home. My wife and them are often on the road," said Riffel, whose home is in Martensville.
"Knowing that those people are out there gives me a little bit of fear."
The Saskatoon Police Service said the Report Impaired Drivers (RID) program is helping officers catch more drunk drivers.
"Drinking and driving continues to be the single highest contributing factor in fatal collisions in Saskatchewan ... Anyone can and should help report drunk driving to the police," said Mark Chatterbok, Saskatoon Police Service deputy chief.
Since the program started two years ago, he said police in Saskatoon have received almost 6,000 calls from the public. In 324 of those cases, impaired driving charges were laid.
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