A DUI charge can happen to anyone: including a president of MADD
Even those who fight for stricter laws against driving under the influence are sometimes the ones who get caught doing just that. In June 2015, the President of the Prince Edward Island Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada was pulled over by a police officer and charged with two alcohol-related offenses after being found with a blood alcohol concentration twice the legal limit of Canada.
After being involved with the organization for over three years, David Griffin, a former deputy chief of Summerside Police Department in Canada, resigned from his position as president of the MADD chapter immediately following the incident. Griffin was charged on July 31, 2015 and after pleading guilty to impaired driving, was sentenced to five days in jail, fined $1,300, and ordered driving probation for one-year.
Griffin was not the First MADD President Charged with a DUI
Andrew Maurie, MADD Canada's CEO, says he does not remember anyone else in the organization being charged with drunk driving in the 18 years that he has been with non-profit. That cannot be said about MADD United States. In March of 2011, former president of Florida's Gainesville MADD Chapter, Debra Oberlin was pulled over after an officer observed Oberlin swerving and driving erratically.The officers gave Oberlin two breathalyzer tests of which she blew an alleged 0.234 and 0.239 -- three times Florida's legal limit of .08.
MADD is a non-profit organization that lobbies against drunk driving and provides support for those impacted by drunk driving. The organization employs a combination of advocacy, action, and litigation in their endeavor to stop drunk driving and prevent underage drinking. One of the main objectives of MADD is to advocate for stricter alcohol policy. Each state in the United States has at least one MADD office and at least one in each province in Canada; each chapter is operated semi-independently.
Canadians Face Stricter DUI Laws than that of the US, Including Washington State
Unfortunately for Oberlin, she will not be able to visit Canada any time soon because as a general rule, Canada does not permit a person with DUI convictions to enter into their country. Because Canada and the United States began sharing a criminal database after 9/11, security enforcement efforts regarding those with a DUI or other misdemeanor have increased in recent years at the Canadian border. Canada takes DUI charges very seriously in its country and their laws concerning driving under the influence are more strict than that of many states within the US -- this is unfortunate for Griffin.
In Washington, driving under the influence is a gross misdemeanor with severe penalties, however, north of the border in Canada, drunk driving is considered a felony. In many provinces in Canada, if a driver is caught with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 or higher they will face penalties starting at a three-day driving ban and fines of up to $200. In Washington State, driving with a BAC level of 0.08 or higher is illegal -- three points higher than that of Canada. A BAC of 0.08 is the legal standard across the United States for impaired driving.