The family of a 16-year-old Ottawa boy who was struck and killed by a drunk driver while he rode his bike home from work last fall is pushing for a lengthy prison term for the woman who pleaded guilty to the crime.

Alex Hayes was struck by a vehicle when he was riding his bike home from his part-time job at a grocery store in Greely, in south Ottawa, last September. He was thrown into a nearby ditch where he was left for three hours before his body was discovered.

Police found the teen's shoe and a Budweiser beer can first; leading them to Hayes' body and mangled bicycle.

In a victim impact statement read in court on Monday, Hayes' mother Penny wrote: "I think of how scared he must have been. Could he have been saved?"

Samira Mohamed Daoud, 40, was arrested with more than three times the legal blood alcohol limit the night Hayes was killed. Witnesses said she visited at least two bars that night and then got behind the wheel, driving erratically for hours.

Daoud, who has a lengthy criminal record involving alcohol, pleaded guilty to the drunk driving death in December. Her sentencing hearing began on Monday.

More than 50 of Hayes' family and friends were in court to listen to the proceedings. They pushed for tougher sentences for impaired drivers by wearing T-shirts that read: "More time for the crime: In memory of Alex Hayes 1994-2010".

Sobs were heard throughout the courtroom during the proceedings. Daoud cried and hung her head low, rocking back and forth as the events of the night were read aloud.

Her sister says she knows she made a mistake and wants to get better.

"She will get help and she promised us she will get better. She prays for the family every day . . . she definitely has remorse," said Munira Daoud.

Daoud's sentencing hearing continues.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem