MADD disturbed by recent impaired driving cases

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With December right on top of us, the holiday season is now firmly in view.

But for members of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Windsor and Essex County, it means a time where the potential for more impaired drivers on the road goes up.

Already this week, local police have released details of four impaired driving incidents and one where police found a child found inside car in Amherstburg during an impaired driving investigation.

Speaking on AM800's Morning Drive, Community Leader for MADD Windsor and Essex County Chaouki Hamka, says that was disturbing to learn and also disgusting.

"We raise kids to protect them and take care of them, not to put them in danger. This is something that's not just about impaired driving, this is child abuse. It's child endangerment," he stated.

Hamka says one change they'd like to see is to have more than just impaired driving charged to an offender, as he believes we have a weak criminal justice system when it comes to impaired driving.

But not so for enforcement, something he says is a big positive for MADD that's continued to get better over his 18 years with the organization.

"They're actively engaged in the community. We have great police services here in the area who are out there day and night tackling impaired driving. I said without them, part of the reason why we did have low numbers here in Windsor-Essex is because of the enforcement."

Hamka says when mandatory alcohol screenings were introduced a few years back, that made a big impact in cutting back the numbers as well.

The message this time of year from MADD is a similar one to previous years, just with some more emphasis on the importance according to Hamka.

"We have a moral obligation to keep our community safe. We know when we're impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, we tend not to make very good decisions. So we always encourage anybody before they take that first sip or first toke, whatever they may be doing, to plan ahead for a safe ride," he said.

Hamka says MADD has seen a rise in impaired driving offences since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says there has been a 25 per cent  increase in consumption of alcohol and cannabis in Canada.