Central Alberta family angry over release of convicted drunk driver
Published Thursday, December 22, 2011 6:59PM MST
Nearly two years after a drunk driver ran a red light and slammed into a small car, killing a couple and devastating a family, that family has learned the man convicted has gone free, and believe it sets a dangerous precedent.
"It says to those people, ‘It's no big deal'," Sandra Green said.
Green spoke to CTV News after hearing of a decision to release the man convicted with two counts of impaired driving causing death, on day parole.
Chad Olsen, 24, was given a 3.5 year prison sentence at the end of April, after courts determined he ran a red light at a Red Deer intersection, and slammed into a small car.
Inside that car were Brad and Krista Howe, a married couple who had five children together, the couple did not survive.
Sandra Green is the guardian of the five orphaned children, and is working to lobby the Federal Government to introduce harsher sentences for those convicted of crimes related to drunk driving.
"It sort of totally negates everything, in my opinion, of what the government has been doing with Bill 26," Green said.
The Member of Parliament for Red Deer said the parole date for Olsen was never clear, and said an initiative to strengthen the Criminal Code with Bill C-10 could be the answer to Green's plea.
"Once [Bill C-10 is] passed, it puts the onus on the perpetrator to show there's been some rehabilitiation," Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen said.
Documents show some reasons for Olsen's release include: Olsen was a first-time offender; he cooperated with police, and had completed a substance abuse program.
Olsen's day parole is to remain for six months, as long as he obeys conditions including not drinking alcohol.
According to officials, Olsen said he doesn't plan to drive anymore.
With files from Jessica Earle