Victims who've lost family members to drunk drivers plan to line up 1,074 pairs of shoes outside the Surrey provincial courthouse to remind people of the damage drunk driving does.
"Right before Christmas, I hope it'll have a impact," said Victor Kaulius, whose daughter Kassandra was killed by a drunk driver in Surrey in 2011. Families who've lost a loved one will be standing among the shoes, holding a picture of the person killed.
A victims' rights group called Families for Justice will put out the shoes, which have been donated by the public and various department stores, on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Each pair of shoes will represent one of the 1,074 people killed by impaired drivers in Canada last year.
Markita Kaulius, Kassandra's mom, said the group wants to remind people to make "the right choice" about drinking and driving as Christmas parties and socials draw near.
"Everyone deserves the right to get home safely to their family and loved ones," she said.
"We have lost too many people in Canada. Each pair of shoes represents a loss of a life - which should still exist, as every one of these deaths was preventable. We hope that people will see how serious this crime really is."
The woman who pleaded guilty to drinking and driving in connection with Kassandra's death will be sentenced in mid-December. Markita Kaulius noted that more than 63,000 people were injured in 2011 in Canada as a result of impaired driving. Families for Justice has to date collected more than 16,000 signatures on a petition that calls on the federal government to make tougher laws against drunk driving, and the courts to deliver stiffer sentences.
"Currently we have seen very light sentences of six months house arrest or $2,000 fines," Kaulius noted, "to less than two years in jail for taking a life."
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