Catharine Weeks spends many of her days simply sitting and staring. She feels in shock when thinking about her son Andrew.

"We are really still in disbelief," Catharine said. "I really think he is still coming home. I think he's just on a holiday."

On Sept. 11, 2005, Andrew had a few drinks with his girlfriend at a bar in Constance Bay, in Ottawa's west end.

The couple decided to be responsible and walk home . What followed was cruel irony.

"It was coming straight at us and we pretty much tried to get out of the way, and that was it, said Andrew's girlfriend, Jennifer Lynn.

"That's pretty much all I remember. My leg was broken and I was just crawling around through a lot of brush. And I came across Andrew. He wasn't breathing."

Her boyfriend died that night. The driver was drunk.

David Lavigne was already on a licence suspension from his first charge of impaired driving. To the dismay of the Weeks family, he served less than one year in jail for Andrew's death.

Alcohol-related crashes kill hundreds

Alcohol-related crashes kill nearly 300 people in Ontario and 200 in Quebec every year.

Those numbers are actually lower than previous years, and impaired driving is more taboo than ever. But police are still shaking their collective heads at the confluence of alcohol, drugs, and the driver's seat.

Three young people died in January when their vehicle struck an OC Transpo bus. Test results confirmed alcohol was a factor, but police wouldn't say how much the driver drank.

Testing for narcotics

And then there are narcotics. Until recently, police could only perform a roadside drug test if the driver agreed. But a new law will allow police to force suspected drug users to submit.

"This has finally given us the investigative means and the investigative tools to go after those impaired by a substance other than alcohol," said Const. John Rozich, an Ontario provincial police drug recognition expert based in Ottawa.

Rozich is one of two officers in eastern Ontario trained to perform a 12-step roadside drug test. Now he can pull people off the road for being impaired.

"A lot of it will be up to the courts to see if it will withstand the required tests, but I think it will," he told CTV Ottawa.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem

Should drunk drivers who kill, be sentenced to the same term as a murder conviction? Have your say by posting a comment below.