NEWS OPINION: ‘No matter how brilliant she is, there is just no excuse’

Roxanne Vines
Roxanne Vines
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Some parents have been remarkably forgiving following the conviction of headteacher Roxanne Vines for drink-driving.

The 33-year-old senior teacher was over the alcohol limit as her Peugeot 107 swerved between lanes on the busy A3.

What’s more, alarmed drivers nearby saw her on her mobile phone at the wheel.

As we report on page 7, she was banned from driving for a year and fined £500 with £130 costs and charges.

While a number of parents at at Mill Hill Primary School in Waterlooville have condemned her actions, others noted that she is a good headteacher and that ‘everyone makes mistakes.’

No mitigation for Vines’s offence was given in open court, although magistrates took into account a letter from her.

Her solid reputation has undoubtedly been tarnished by this episode, which calls into question her judgement at the time of the offence.

But the law is the law, and there can be no excuses for breaking it.

Drink-driving is no longer socially acceptable, as it once was. A zero-tolerance mood prevails among drivers.

There have been many tragedies blamed on drink-driving, and anybody who has seen a loved one killed or injured by a drink-driver may argue that no penalty is harsh enough.

Governors at Ms Vine’s school are investigating the matter and will no doubt take her previous good record into account as they discuss her future.

Ms Vine might feel that her public embarrassment is more of a punishment than the penalty dished out by magistrates.

Whatever happens next, this story should act as a further deterrent to other would-be drink-drivers.