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Parole for drunk driver who caused the death of four

April 2020

Convicted drunk driver Marco Muzzo, convicted of four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm for causing a horrifying collision in Vaughan, has been released on day parole, just 4.5 years into his 10-year sentence.  While it’s not surprising, given how our legal system works, it’s heartbreaking that he ends up serving so little actual time in prison for the senseless deaths of nine-year old Daniel, five-year-old Harrison, two-year-old Milly, and their grandfather Gary.

As Jennifer Neville-Lake, mother of the children and daughter of Gary, pointed out, that works out to just over one year per death.

Nothing can ever bring them back, but for me, their deaths on 29 September 2015 weren’t in vain. They served as a serious wake-up call and a turning-point for me.

I too used to drive impaired, but it was their deaths that convinced me that I needed to smarten up. I suffer from PTSD and was drinking to numb the pain I was feeling. Ironically, I was risking becoming a man just like Muzzo. Thankfully, my reckless actions never did end up hurting anyone.

Although I wouldn’t actually quit drinking for another 6 months, their deaths and the fact that I could thrust the same horror upon another family were never far from my mind. While I was always careful not to be falling-down drunk whenever I was driving, I certainly would have failed a roadside screening test at any time. Only once was I stopped in a ride spot-check, but the cop never noticed the smell of alcohol. I was very lucky indeed.

Addiction is a horrible disease and that certainly doesn’t excuse any harm that results from the reckless behaviour that usually accompanies addiction, including my own, but the first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem and need help. For me, it certainly was a big step.

At the time, I was a serving police officer; a profession that still has an entrenched “suck it up” mentality, just like in the military. My question is how many of the macho guys who said they would just “suck it up” and get on with it, were alcoholics?

One of the things I learned very early on in my recovery is that I was indeed “sucking it up” – a lot of booze, that is, along with abusing my prescription medication.

While I still suffer the effects of PTSD, I’m doing a lot better and now have almost 50 months of sobriety.

I hope that the Neville-Lake family can take comfort that at least one person was paying attention to the horror committed that fateful day.

Further, for those suffering from addiction and mental health issues, there is help when you are ready to ask for it. For police supervisors and command officers: make sure your officers feel comfortable asking for help and stop throwing away good officers.

Also read:

Sources: https://www.cp24.com/news/i-have-to-live-with-this-for-the-rest-of-my-life-drunk-driver-marco-muzzo-says-after-being-granted-day-parole-1.4914744, Sources: https://www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-and-rankings/richest-people/rich-100-muzzo-estate, https://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/11/20/marco-muzzo-denied-parole-a-deep-dive-into-the-boards-decision.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/parole-for-drunk-driver-who-caused-the-death-of-four/

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