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Friends and family of Cody Andrews are working to increase the severity of punishment for convicted impaired drivers.

The 23-year-old New Hamburg man was one of two killed in a crash on Sept. 8, 2016.

“His presence is not here anymore,” said father Dave Andrews. “There are no Christmases, no holidays, his room is empty, his seat at the table is empty. It’s tough.

“Nobody should have to suffer. It’s totally preventable.”

In 2018, Scott Atiman was sentence to 10 years in prison for impaired driving. Earlier this year, the family says they learned Altiman’s sentence had been reduced to seven years.

“Our legal system hasn’t gotten it right,” said mother Shauna Andrews. “So maybe we can.”

This is the motivation behind the third annual ‘Ride for Cody’ on Sunday: a group motorcycle ride from New Hamburg to Kincardine Station Beach.

“We’d like to go to the beach every once in a while,” said Dave. “Kincardine was a good place we’d like to go.”

The motorcycles will be riding with MADD Canada signs as a reminder for people not to drink and drive.

“It’s approximately four Canadians every day that are killed and 65 that are injured [by impaired drivers],” said Steven Bowden, president of MADD Waterloo Region. “The numbers are staggering.”

Shauna says the family hopes their campaign can help lower the numbers.

“This is needless,” she said. “It’s so preventable. We’ll do everything we can to support this cause.”

The family says all donations made to the ‘Ride for Cody’ campaign will go directly to the MADD Canada Waterloo Region chapter.