Police and courts have role to play in wake of Muzzo's driving record: analyst

Before Marco Muzzo was denied day parole on Wednesday by the Parole Board of Canada, his driving record came into focus. 

The three victim impact statements referenced anxiety about his 10 speeding tickets starting back in 2008, eight of which were lowered by police. 

NEWSTALK 1010 Public Safety Analyst Chris Lewis, who spent 36 years as a police officer and is a former commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, says it's a decision left to the discretion of officers, as well as justices. 

"They generally do that in a case where they think, you know that this person's truly sorry they did it, and they made a mistake and they don't have a past record," he said. "But when someone has ticket after ticket after ticket, at what point does it become clear this guy's not getting the message, he's going to kill somebody some day."

Muzzo is currently serving a 10-year sentence for the September 2015 crash, in which he drunkenly drove into an SUV, killing nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly and their grandfather, 65-year-old Gary Neville. 

Lewis said it's also common for justices to decrease penalties on tickets and points out preventing point-loss from repeat offenders should be re-assessed. 

"The points issue is what's key because that's when the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario will come in and say, your points at a certain level now, you're being warned and next time you're losing your license," he said. 

Officers do have access to information about a persons licence status and licence history at road side, but demerit points and potential suspensions are only determined before a judge. 

Muzzo's record was also discussed by board questioner Kevin Corcoran, telling Muzzo the leniency probably impacted his driving behaviour because he faced no consequences. 

Lewis said along with the police and justices needing to take responsibility when they deal with repeat offenders, it's also an issue for politicians. 

"Ultimately, if the legislation isn't working as it is, then it needs to be ticked and tuned and adjusted, so that it does have an impact," he said.