The pain never ends, says a Red Deer mother whose son was killed by a drunk driver.
Aleta Neville, president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, lost her son Brent “Nev” Neville in 2006.
On Thursday, community organizations joined with Alberta Motor Association representatives in Red Deer to remind people to get a ride home with a designated driver or to phone a cab if they have been drinking.
As part of its None for the Road campaign, the AMA was reminding people to avoid drinking and driving this holiday season.
Neville is supporting the AMA campaign and said people who have died as a result of drunk drivers have lost their right to live, their right to fall in love, have children and get married.
“Before you get behind the wheel, think about what you are doing and the consequences,” she said. “For victims, it’s a life sentence. We’re not sentenced to two years plus a day. . . . We get a life sentence.”
She said people can drink, but when they drive they need to remember to drive safe and drive sober. She also encourages people to phone 911 if they suspect a drunk driver on the road.
“As a parent who has lost a child, the pain never goes away,” Neville said. “. . . As the years go by the grass is never as green, the sun is never as bright, the jokes are not as funny. Nothing is the same. You have to find a different normal because the life you had before you lost your child, it will never be the same. My message is: Is it worth it? It’s just not worth the price.”
Sgt. Bob Bell of Red Deer City RCMP said this has been the worst year for impaired driving in his seven years of working in Red Deer. He said there have been four fatalities locally this year where a suspected drunk driver was involved. He said around 450 people die in the province as the result of traffic collisions each year, with a third of those involving an individual who was impaired.
This year, the AMA has partnered with the Western Hockey League and the Alberta Junior Hockey League to help get the message out during games and also offer positive tickets during RCMP Checkstops this holiday season. As designated drivers go through Checkstops, they will have the chance to receive free tickets to a Rebels game.
Red Deer Rebel captain Colin Archer feels it’s important to get the safe and sober driving message out. “It’s a lifestyle change in Central Alberta and I think we’re going in the right direction, but it’s always something you have to work on the younger age group,” Archer said.
AMA member services manager Christine Waldo said many people prepare for their Christmas parties by buying new outfits and getting babysitters, but they need to remember another component is planning a safe ride home.