Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca. (Antonella Artuso/Toronto Sun)

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca. (Antonella Artuso/Toronto Sun)

The province is always looking for ways to crack down on drunk driving and make roads safer, the transportation minister said in the wake of a fatal crash that killed three siblings and their grandfather.

The legislature observed a moment of silence Monday in memory of Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, Harry Neville-Lake, 5, and Milly Neville-Lake, 2. and their grandfather. Marco Muzzo, 29, has been charged with 12 impaired-related charges, including four counts of impaired driving causing death.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of the individuals involved,” said Stephen Del Duca, in whose riding the crash occurred, adding it is a “horrible tragedy.”

Del Duca said the province already has tough drunk, drug-impaired and distracted driving measures but the transportation ministry is always studying ways to crack down harder.

“We have to continue to look at whether or not there are other things we can bring to bear to make sure our roads are made safe and that those on our roads, whether they are drivers or passengers, are safe,” he told reporters.

He said his government has already lowered the blood alcohol level permitted in drivers to a warning level of .05 and will look at what other measures could be introduced, including zero tolerance. A first-time offender in the “warning” range faces a three-day driving suspension and a fine.

Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur said Ontario is the leader in preventing drinking and driving. She would not discuss whether it’s time to bring in zero tolerance, saying more study needs to be done. Under Ontario’s graduated licensing system, new drivers under 21 must have a blood alcohol level of zero.

Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada, insisted the province needs to beef up the warning penalty to impounding the vehicles.

“The thing he should be doing — at the 0.05 level — is what B.C. and Alberta have done,” Murie said.

“Right now in Ontario, they lose their license for three days. In the other two provinces, you also get your vehicle impounded for three days. People do not want their vehicles impounded. It’s made an incredible difference and I don’t know even know why the minister is talking about zero tolerance when he has a solution right in front of him that’s working in two other provinces,” Murie said.

“We’ve told them about it. And I think that’s one of the faults. The federal government hasn’t acted and certainly neither has Queen’s Park. MTO and too many people down there have spent too much time patting each other on the back, saying, ‘We’ve got the lowest rate all in North America.’ Well, try to explain to that family why four people died.”

— With files from Jenny Yuen

Source: Toronto Sun