A Saskatoon mother has become her son’s voice after he suffered serious injuries that left him immobile. This was caused by a drinking and driving incident in Saskatoon.

Charlene Fineday’s son Darnell, 28, was hit by a drunk driver on April 19, 2023. It was an event that changed both of their lives forever.

“He can’t use his hands, his arms or his legs anymore. He’s unable to play with his daughter anymore. He can’t do the day-to-day life stuff,” said Fineday. “I am emotionally drained. I have sleepless nights and I have very bad anxiety due to this.”

Photo credit / Charlene Fineday

Darnell used to enjoy drawing, listening to music, playing with his daughter Genesis and being outdoors. Now simple tasks such as having conversations and going for walks with his mother are not possible. Darnell suffers from severe brain injuries which caused him to be immobile. Darnell now stays at Parkridge Centre, which is a long-term care facility. Fineday and her granddaughter visit Darnell almost daily with hope that someday, he can return home.

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“Genesis was impacted by this because her dad can no longer play with her,” she said. “He’ll never be able to walk her down the aisle … He can’t smile, he can’t hug her, and he can’t talk … this is hard … more needs to be done.”

Darnell and his daughter.

Photo credit / Charlene Fineday

The Regina Police Service (RPS) and SGI have recently announced that throughout the month of March, when police pull over motorists, it will be mandatory to perform an alcohol screening test.

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“We’re still seeing impaired driving charges and we’re still seeing roadside suspensions as a result of drinking and driving,” said RPS Sgt. Shannon Gordon, who is in charge of the traffic safety unit (TSU) in Regina. “Now we’re saying let’s get our impaired driving detection and (hold) those drivers responsible. Let’s make that a priority.”

This new initiative is something that Fineday wishes she can see in Saskatoon as her son faces the consequences of someone’s actions after they decided to get behind the wheel.

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“I believe the (initiative) will be a good thing and it’ll help a lot of people open up their eyes and realize that they shouldn’t make those choices when it comes to drinking and driving,” she said. “Saskatoon needs to do better as a community to crack down on impaired drivers.”

According to the Saskatoon Police Service, this initiative is not being practiced in their city and it is not known if this is something they plan on doing in the future.

The Fineday family will be gathering at the Saskatoon courthouse on Mar. 13 in support of Darnell, when the accused will be sentenced for impaired driving causing bodily harm.


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