Robyn Urback: Send repeat drunk drivers to prison — ideally, before their 19th conviction

National Post | Full Comment

A Saskatchewan man made headlines over the summer when he was convicted of driving while impaired for the 19th time. Kenneth Obey, who had collected 18 impaired driving convictions between 1981 and 2005, was stopped by police most recently in August 2012, when he was driving with a blood alcohol level two and a half times the legal limit. With that conviction he was handed a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence, and was banned from driving for 15 years.

That Saskatchewan’s drunk driving laws would enable a man to rack up 19 impaired convictions is just silly, and embarrassing. It was likely just sheer dumb luck that kept Obey out of prison for an extended period of time, since he managed not to kill anyone when drunk behind the wheel. Indeed, for these types of recidivist offenders, no punishment — whether a driving prohibition, interlock ignition system or new “drunk driving” plates…

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