As of June 20, Greater Sudbury Police Service has charged 73 people with impaired-related offences in 2014, more than 12 people a month, on average, said Staff Sgt. Dan Depatie, a supervisor of the traffic management department.
“That's unacceptable,” he said June 21, in front of a crowd of more than 100 people who gathered to mark the five-year anniversary of the deaths of Jazmine Houle, Steven Philippe and Caitlin Jelley. “Every two and a half days or so, someone is being charged with an impaired-related offence. That's why we're here today, to try and eradicate that.”
“My goal, which I believe is achievable, is to have zero impaired drivers in our community. Our police service will not stop until we get there, and one of the ways we will do that is through our community partnerships, such as the one we have with Impact6/21.”
Impact6/21 was established by the families of the three teens who were killed June 21, 2009 by a drunk driver who is now behind bars.
Lisa Jelley, mother of Caitlin Jelley, thanks all those who attended the third annual memorial service. Greater Sudbury Police Service led the group from the Valley East ball park to the site where the crash happened five years ago.
“We've been working to establish our (Impact6/21) foundation, and get out there as much as possible to deliver our message, to use what happened to us and affect people to make the correct decision when choosing whether or not to drive impaired,” Jelley said.
For all three moms, every day brings its challenges.
“We are learning to cope, and we are finding ways to moving on every day,” Jelley said. “We can lay down and cry and not do anything, or we can take a tragic incident that we can't change, and use it to change others so they might not have to suffer what we did.”
And that's exactly what they are doing through Impact6/21. Having established partnerships with many
community groups, Impact6/21 has been actively spreading its message of the dangers of drunk driving, reaching out to all ages. For example, they deliver their message to graduating high school students each year, in hopes those students will make the right decision when considering drinking and driving.
Impact6/21 has also receive a lot of support through social media, she said.
“It's heartwarming to know we have that support out there,” Jelley said. “As hard as it is for us on any given day to deliver our message time after time, when we see this support, it makes it worthwhile, and encourages us to continue.”