An open letter to Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen
I have lived here in Red Deer for almost four years now. I am writing you this letter in shock and disbelief after reading a recent article in the Red Deer Advocate.
The article I am referring to is the sentencing of Chad Mitchell Olsen in regards to the tragic deaths of Brad and Krista Howe.
Now, I have been following this case — I wouldn’t say very closely but I read the majority of the articles written about it — and I am a little bit outraged about the most recent, stating that he is only going to serve two years and three months and only have his licence suspended for five years.
This man was 23 years old, has had 16 tickets in the last five years, nine of them being speeding, and has also had his licence previously suspended three times. That is quite an extensive record for someone as young as he is and for only having a Class 5 license for a maximum of seven years.
He was also over three times the legal alcohol blood content limit, was speeding and ran a red light.
He has impacted the life of the entire family but especially those of the five children left behind. Two of them were taken in by Brad and Krista — they were children who found someone who wanted them in their lives, and now those people who gave them hope have been taken away.
I am going to quote a paragraph from the last article I read regarding Krista Howe’s mother, Sandra Green’s, quest to change drunk driving laws:
“Green, who read the children’s statements, said Molly asked her deceased parents, ‘How is heaven? I miss you a lot.’
“One of the little girls asked during a plane ride if her parents could see her when they rose into the clouds because they were close to heaven.”
This young man has been given a slap on the wrist for turning an entire community upside down with his stupid and irresponsible decisions.
He obviously hasn’t learned from his previous tickets or suspensions and I think further action should be taken in regards to either time served, or he should never, ever be able to have a drivers licence again.
He is showing other people out there that may or may not on a regular basis drink and drive, that not only was he completely in the wrong by how much he drank and his bad driving, but, “Hey look, I took two people’s lives and changed a whole community and I barely got any punishment.”
I completely agree with Sandra Green that there should be an automatic jail term to anyone found guilty of drinking and driving, whether they have caused any harm or not.
A one year, 24-hour suspension for being found guilty of driving under the influence is ridiculous as well. There are constantly people who drink and drive and people never hear about it because they were lucky enough to make it home without hurting anyone.
I would like to know how my MP feels feel about this issue, and your thoughts on changing Canadian laws regarding drunk drivers.