Enforcement not education to catch idiot drink-drivers

COMMENT: People need to have viable alternative to driving

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Twice a year, every year Hampshire police joins every other force in the country to launch a drink-driving awareness campaign.

It is a depressing reality of life in the 21st century that such campaigns are still necessary at Christmas and in the summer. But they are.

No matter how hard-hitting the crusade becomes, it does not seem to get through to some people

If you have read the depressing list of convicted drink-drivers on page 5 you will, like us, be shaking your head and muttering: ‘Will they never learn?’

But it is not ‘they’, the convicted, we should be most concerned about. It is the innocent other road users whose lives are put at risk – the vast majority of us – by the crass stupidity of these idiots.

Like Andy Greest.

He was killed by a drink-driver on the M3 just over three years ago.

His daughter Kayleigh, from Gosport, makes a valid point for all those who think that just because they might have got away with drinking and getting behind the wheel once, they will be immune from ever being caught.

She says: ‘Just because they’ve got away with it once doesn’t mean they can get away with it again.’

You could argue these police and government campaigns and messages are obvious.

But no matter how hard-hitting the crusade becomes, it does not seem to get through to some people.

What is most depressing is that, much like every smoker knows they are damaging their long-term health, every drink-driver knows full well they could be breaking the law.

Perhaps we have reached the stage where these campaigns must no longer be about education, they must be about enforcement.

It would be impossible to have zero tolerance and catch every drink-driver, but it would send a spectacular message if police positioned themselves in such a way that they could test everyone getting into cars parked in pub car parks.

Perhaps then the drink-drivers would think again. But perhaps not.