MADD pres­i­dent calls on Cros­bie to lead fight against im­paired driv­ing

The Packet (Clarenville) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAMES MCLEOD THE TELE­GRAM jm­cleod@thetele­gram.com

ST. JOHN’S, NL – The na­tional pres­i­dent of Moth­ers Against Drunk Driv­ing (MADD) says she hopes Ches Cros­bie will be a se­ri­ous ally in the fight against drunk driv­ing, a day after he ad­mit­ted he was crim­i­nally con­victed of re­fus­ing the breath­a­lyzer in the 1990s.

Cros­bie dropped the rev­e­la­tion out of the blue at the Quidi Vidi Brew­ery at the end of his event to for­mally launch his cam­paign for the lead­er­ship of the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive party.

“There isn’t much I can say about a 25-year-old con­vic­tion, other than the fact that im­paired driv­ing is a very se­ri­ous mat­ter, even if it did oc­cur 25 years ago,” MADD pres­i­dent Pa­tri­cia Hynes-Coates said.

“I mean, we have to un­der­stand that he has moved for­ward. How­ever, I would like to see this man take the lead in our fight on im­paired driv­ing. If he se­ri­ously learned his les­son, then let’s stand up and make some se­ri­ous changes.”

Cros­bie said he had been drink­ing, and he was alone in the car when he re­fused the breath­a­lyzer. He told the CBC Oct. 25 that while he’d been drink­ing, he wouldn’t de­scribe him­self as drunk.

“It’s not some­thing I’m proud of,” Cros­bie told re­porters. “I’ve learned a les­son out of it, which is not to re­peat that, and I haven’t.” Hynes-Coates said at­ti­tudes to­ward drunk driv­ing were dif­fer­ent 25 years ago, but that’s not an ex­cuse.

“It is some­thing that was more so­cially ac­cepted, be­cause we didn’t have the ed­u­ca­tion and the knowl­edge that we have now,” she said.

“Im­paired driv­ing is still a crime. It was back then, and it still is now, and this man could have done some se­ri­ous dam­age. We’re very for­tu­nate he didn’t in­jure or kill him­self. We’re also very for­tu­nate he didn’t in­jure or kill some­body else. How­ever, you know, he did com­mit a crime.”

Cros­bie said he ap­plied for a par­don seven or eight years ago, and re­ceived one.

Hynes-Coates said ul­ti­mately, it’s up to peo­ple re­port­ing drunk driv­ing, and mak­ing bet­ter de­ci­sions in or­der to erad­i­cate im­paired driv­ing al­to­gether. She said MADD has been happy with the co-op­er­a­tion it has re­ceived from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

“We’re not against peo­ple drink­ing. We’re not a pro­hi­bi­tion­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion,” she said.

“If you are plan­ning on hav­ing a few drinks or avail­ing of some type of drugs, then you need to make sure you plan ahead. Get a safe ride home.”

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