Winnipeg dad aims to catch drunk drivers, 5 years after crash killed his son
During a season of festive parties and boozy get-togethers, one Winnipeg man is aiming to help holiday revellers get home safe.
Les Yasinsky's son, Brett, was 22 years old when a drunk driver slammed into him five years ago, ending his life.
"(The driver) was five times over the legal limit," Yasinsky said. "He was driving erratically at high speeds, with no headlights on. And he T-boned my son and my son lost his life."
Since that day, Yasinsky has taken it upon himself to help make sure other families don't lose loved ones in the same way.
To do this, he fastens a camera to his car's dashboard and heads out to the bar every Friday and Saturday night.
Then, he watches.
"I watch those that are stumbling one step forward, two steps back, trying to get their key in, having troubles getting in," Yasinsky said. "And if I think that they've had too much to drink, I'll follow them."
Yasinsky told CTV Winnipeg that he'll trail drivers, watching to see if they swerve or appear to be steering erratically.
If he thinks the driver is being unsafe, he calls the cops and gives them a description of the vehicle and its location, as well as a license plate number.
Yasinsky says he never confronts people he suspects of driving drunk, and he'll delete any footage he has if the police don't need it.
"I'm not there as a vigilante," he said. "I'm out there as eyes and ears for the police."
He calls his initiative the DADD campaign, or the Dads Against Drunk Driving campaign, named after the prominent group MADD, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Yasinsky hopes that, just as MADD has galvanized family members to take action against drunk driving, DADD will encourage more people to watch for unsafe drivers, and report them.
"I want DADD to be an action," he said.
And, he says, he knows keeping an eye out for suspicious behaviour and calling the police do make a difference.
Since Yasinsky began tracking drivers leaving bars, police have charged five people thanks to his tips.
With files from CTV Winnipeg