Local MADD leader wants stronger impaired driving laws in Canada


The community leader for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Windsor & Essex County thinks Canada has the weakest impaired driving laws in the world.

Speaking on AM800's The Morning Drive, Chaouki Hamka believes the country is behind in the criminal justice system and feels drivers in Canada take risks because impaired driving penalties are a "slap on the wrist."

He's speaking out after five drivers were nabbed with alcohol related offences within a 24 hour span last weekend in Essex County. 

Hamka says he's angered by the recent incidents.

"We are very behind in our criminal justice system," says Hamka.  "You know when you compare Canada to other places in the world like New Zealand, Australia impaired driving doesn't happen as often because their law, not that they're tough laws, they're effective laws."


Local MADD and Crime Stoppers are taking part in a national campaign to encourage drivers to report suspected impaired drivers. (Courtesy of Chaouki Hamka)

He says drivers continue to disobey the law and disobey human life. 

"Driving bans, all the things we talk about, losing your licence those are still not things that deter people from driving impaired," says Hamka.  "We have decent laws in Canada but we don't have effective laws and that's what needs to change.  Somebody's charged with impaired driving, there's many different charges of course, over 80, impaired driving causing injury, causing death, they all have their mandatory minimums but at the end of the day it's a slap on the wrist and for a lot of people in our community unfortunately they will take that risk."

As AM800 news reported on Wednesday, five drivers between the ages of 27-years-old and 48-years-old were charged with alcohol related offences. 

Charges included operation while impaired, failure or refusal to comply with demand, speeding, dangerous operation and having open liquor in the vehicle.

Earlier this month, Ontario Provincial Police reported a 64 per cent increase in both alcohol and drug impaired driving cases in Essex County in 2023.