The day a police officer knocked on their door was, without a doubt, the worst day of their life.
It was a Saturday morning in August 2013 when Bonny and Craig Stevenson were told their 17-year-old son Quinn was killed by a drunk driver in Saskatoon.
“My life changed forever when Craig called me downstairs and I see a police officer standing in our entrance,” said Bonny Stevenson.
SGI has launched its new impaired driving campaign which includes a dramatization of a similar moment to what the Stevenson’s experienced.
The video shows a young father preparing dinner and reading to his three children, while mom is taking longer than usual to get home. There’s a knock on the door and two officers are standing there, delivering the news that shatters the family.
The “Knock on the Door” campaign also features testimonial from 12 first responders and medical professionals who have to deliver the next-of-kin notification.
Sgt. Troy Dumont with the Prince Albert Police Service choked back tears describing what he called the worst part of the job. He remembered telling the bad news to a family, with a junior officer tagging along.
“I remember walking up to the door and I just said ‘You don’t have to say anything, just watch what I do,'” said Dumont, “He looked at me and he said ‘I hope they’re not home.'”
Dumont said it never gets easier knocking on the door. A replay goes through his mind and he starts to question himself afterwards.
“Did I say the right things? You have doubt, some regrets maybe. You wish you could change something you said or something you didn’t say because you know that you just changed somebody’s life forever,” said Dumont.
This new SGI campaign aims to show how impaired driving affects lives on both sides of the door. The province-wide campaign runs until the end of October. It includes radio, television, movie theatres and online advertisements.
Bonny Stevenson said the videos are real, impactful and they hit you in the gut. If the campaign doesn’t hit home for people, Bonny said she’s not sure what will.
Since Quinn’s death, the Stevenson’s have become advocates in raising awareness for finding a safe ride home. They stress the importance of forming a plan and for event holders to ask people how they are getting home.
“You will save a family from this horrific nightmare that we’ve lived every day since,” said Bonny.
Impaired driving is the leading cause of fatalities on Saskatchewan roads. In 2017, 39 people died and 357 were hurt in impaired driving crashes.