It is almost depressing that the police need to launch a drink-driving crackdown every Christmas – with the same bleak tales of ruined lives.
Obviously, that’s not to say that they shouldn’t swing into action and stand by and do nothing. It’s just a sad fact that unlike the compulsory wearing of a seat belt and other changes to driving laws which on the whole are well observed, drink-driving is still a problem.
It’s astonishing that five people are caught a day in Hampshire. Many will have been caught the morning after, but that in itself is no excuse – everyone should be well aware of the potential to fail a breath test after a heavy night, even with a few hours’ sleep in between.
However there is, as revealed today by Insp Andy Storey of Hampshire Constabulary, a hard core of people who just do not care. They will have a skinful and drive home, simply because it’s the easiest and cheapest option.
Their arrogance in thinking that they are above the law and competent enough to drive without causing serious harm to themselves and other people is the main issue that needs to be tackled.
And this is where we can all play a role. While the police have as many officers out on highway patrol as they can, they cannot be everywhere. But if we are all vigilant, we can tip them off and help them remove dangers from the road – and this year police have launched a text number to make it as easy as possible.
Call it sneaking, shopping, grassing up or what you will – in this case it’s a public service to try to eradicate drink-driving, because sadly years and years of awareness campaigns and threats do not appear to have had the impact that could have been hoped.
The family of young Evey Staley, whose tragic story is told on our Agenda spread today, would no doubt be the first to urge that everyone stands up to drink-drivers.
Let the horrific wreck of a car that claimed her life be a grim reminder that the peril of drink-driving is very much a danger to be tackled.