“At Christmas, remember me”: A father who was devastated by the driver’s family cries from the heart

“At Christmas, before you get drunk and take your car, think of me,” insists a father whose family was destroyed by a drunk driver in Quebec.

Read more: Family destroyed in Beaufort: The driver admits his guilt

Read more: Family ruined in Beaufort: a tragedy that could move justice

Shelley Fletcher-Lemieux, 44
Emma Lemieux, 10 years old
Jackson Ford, 14
James Fletcher, 68

On September 2, Jean-Dominique Lemieux lost his wife, daughter, adopted son and stepmother in a tragic collision on the Dufferin-Montmornce Highway in Beaufort.

The vehicle in which Shelley Fletcher-Lemieux, 44, Emma Lemieux, 10, Jackson Fordin, 14, and their grandfather James Fletcher, 68, collided head-on with a red light.

Eric Legare, convicted repeatedly while driving, faces 19 charges. The judge recently refused to release him pending trial because his blood alcohol level was more than two and a half times the permissible limit.

The father and husband who lost this tragedy campaigned against drunken driving, preventing others from experiencing this tragedy.

Surreal event

“People need to think about me before they get in their car,” he says. Because what happened in my life is real. At the end of the day, one came back from football, the other came home from school with his small lunch box, and blah!

In this conflict he “lost the big one”, Mr. Lemieux has a thought about the accused, who must live with this dangerous drama in his conscience.

“The accused ruined the lives of many, including mine. I think about it often [à cet accident], But I have nothing to complain about. He has a guilt feeling that I do not have. He has to think about it for years, ”explains the father.

He insists that if his family is destroyed, it is the same for the accused.

“I’m amazed at what happens to his family. It’s torture, their testimony in court, they are also victims,” ​​he says.

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During his recent interrogation, Legare’s parents said he lost two aunts to drunken driving, one of whom was stabbed to death while driving under the influence of alcohol.

“There is a personal responsibility and people need to know what can cause this,” he said. Lemieux laments.

According to him, the permissible alcohol limit, 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, leaves much room for slippage.

“Drunkards are still being asked to assess their condition and driving ability. That is the problem. Anyone who hangs 0.08 can ruin a life in an instant, ”he says.

“Why play Russian roulette when you leave?” Aim for zero tolerance, that is the solution, ”he continued.

He is afraid of many misbehaviors during the holidays and asks people to plan their trips.

“I know it’s very complicated to get your tank the next day, but it’s not as bad as spending 10 years on it,” he adds.


Eric Rado, who lost his arm in 2012 after being killed by a drunk driver.

Chandel Fourier / JDM

Eric Rado, who lost his arm in 2012 after being killed by a drunk driver.

Despite awareness campaigns, harsh laws, persistent tragedies and social denial, an average of 10,000 Quebec motorists are arrested for drunken driving each year.

Over the past 10 years, the number of charged drivers has experienced a downward trend, but, despite all efforts, a significant amount is not enough, experts regret.

“We have an even worse package,” said Jean-Marie de Konink, head of Operation Red Nose. Even today it is very frustrating for people to take it [le risque] Must drive with disability. There are many options. ”

Although the number of roads has improved over the past few decades, by 2019 it will exceed 30% of road accidents.

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Drunk driving is the second leading cause of death after speeding on the roads, recalls Paul Leduk, head of road safety at Sûreté du Québec.

“It’s not resolved. In our area alone, 5500 people are arrested each year for driving disabilities, that’s 15 people a day, almost two hours a day driving. This is unbelievable,” laments Captain Leduk.

Why do so many still take such risks? “Others will be caught because we think we are above all else,” believes retired police officer Andre Drocher.

“People say to themselves: ‘Another kid, I’m fine!’ They think they are in control and tell themselves that nothing has happened to them anyway, ”laments Dr. Pierre Morris of the National Institutes of Public Health in Quebec.

And decreased driving ability – especially vision, reflexes and judgment – from the first drink, underlined by Marco Harrison, chairman of the CAA-Quebec Foundation.

“It has changed a little after my accident. At this point, I have the idea that it won’t change, Eric Rado begins. It is annoying and should be stopped, it is a disgusting habit to give privilege to one’s pleasure rather than the safety of many.

He has been confined to a wheelchair since being attacked by a drunk driver in 2012 in the town of Val-David in Laurence.

Eric Clermont lay dead in a snow-covered abyss and fled the scene when he found the 23-year-old hospital with a cut below one knee.

He is surprised that despite the media coverage of serious alcohol-related conflicts such as the one he fell victim to, that atrocity has not yet disappeared.


“If we think we’re more likely to win the lottery than we’re going to be, we’m going to take the risk,” said Hubert Sassy, ​​general manager of Take Alcohol.

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According to him, 75% of drivers have not seen a roadblock under the influence of alcohol in the past year. Police have already warned that surveillance and multiple road checks will increase as the holiday approaches. But he insists there should be more dams throughout the year.

Pierre Bellemare, Reconstruction Specialist

“The more people are afraid of being caught, the more careful they will be,” slides rebuilding expert Pierre Bellemare.

80 times before getting stuck

“Before driving low, people don’t think about whether they’re going to kill someone, but whether they’re going to get caught. That’s what worries them,” he adds.

Also, Kim Miller of the Point Final organization urges that a motorist can drive more than 80 times with impaired abilities before being stopped.

“Will consumerists catch everything? No, it’s a minority. So, every year, there are a majority of people who continue their journey without being arrested, ”said Marco Harrison, a retired police officer.

The record of weak driving offenses shows only the tip of the iceberg.

Also, in Quebec, it is difficult to get an overall picture of drunk driving.

The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec has statistics on dead drunk drivers, but it is not clear how many innocent people are killed each year by driving under the influence of alcohol.

The only data we have is that between 2015 and 2019, 24% of road deaths involved alcohol.

In addition, the Coroner’s Office has no data on unfortunate passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists who encounter a drunk driver on the road.

Great back

1. Irresponsible

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