The Prince Albert chapter of MADD concedes a two-year sentence handed down to a serial drunk-driver is a lengthy one, but is wondering if it came soon enough.
President Trina Cockle was reacting to the jail term given to Richard Janzen in provincial court this week. He pleaded guilty to two sets of charges after crashing into two seperate motorists, on two seperate occasions. He’d disabled the interlock device both times on his vehicle.
Before this, Janzen had six previous impaired convictions, amounting to a total of three months in jail.
“It’s really sad this is still happening in our society,” Cockle said, and given Janzen’s record she pondered whether the lengthy sentence “could have come a lot sooner.”
She stressed the need for everyone in the community to help stamp out the danger.
“It’s not just the drunk or high drivers who are the problem; it’s a community problem. So if someone is leaving my house impaired, I’m not going to let them get behind the wheel,” Cockle said.
She believes some people turn a blind eye to offenders when they’re seen leaving a bar or party.
“They think ‘well I didn’t come with that person, if they leave drunk it’s not my problem.’” But Cockle said the community needs to think further than that.
“Too many times when there’s been an injury or death because of impaired driving people are haunted by the questions: ‘Who was with that person, who could have stopped them, who could have taken their keys away?’”
Cockle isn’t sure if the two-year jail stint for Janzen will send a major message to others in the community.
“It’s hard to say if we’re making an impact or not,” Cockle said. “Some people look at that sentence as a joke. We’re just happy that he will spend some time behind bars, get the rehabilitation he needs and hopefully change his mind about drinking and driving.”
On Twitter: @princealbertnow
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